Kiwi start-up releases upcycled products to solve food waste

Karen Pham

Karen Pham


Rescued – a New Zealand food company committed to a future with zero food waste in landfills – has introduced its new line of upcycled items in selected Auckland Countdown stores.

The company helps to counter one of Aotearoa’s major sources of food waste by transforming leftover bread from Countdown bakeries into easy-to-make vanilla, chocolate, lemon & gin botanicals, and savoury baking mixes. 

Customers are encouraged to use the mix to save on fruit or vegetables.

The new upcycled products also include plain and rescued herb breadcrumbs made from real bread.

Diane Stanbra, owner and founder of Rescued, says it’s a big highlight to be featured on the shelves of Countdown stores and to turn otherwise wasted food into delicious new products.

“When we first began our journey to tackle food waste in Aotearoa through upcycling, one of our biggest goals was to be selling our products in the same place we’re rescuing from – and we’ve done it,” added Stanbra.

“The support we’ve been given over the last eight months has been great, and it’s only up from here. There are so many opportunities for reducing food waste to landfill through upcycling, and we’re really looking forward to what’s ahead.”

Steve Mills of Countdown said the company is excited to have Rescued products on its shelves and work together to reduce food waste.

“At Countdown our priority is to avoid creating food waste in the first place by making sure we’re not ordering or producing more than we need, but the nature of fresh food and serving more than 3 million customers a week means that some level of waste is inevitable.

“To make sure as little as possible is ending up in landfill, we have a policy of donating food that’s still fit for consumption, but can’t be sold – and we work with more than 25 food rescue partners to make this happen. However, we do still have some food that’s currently ending up as animal feed or unfortunately going to landfill – especially with short shelf life products like bread that our food rescue partners struggle to find enough outlets for. That’s where Rescued has come in.”

Countdown Mt Eden, Countdown St Johns, Countdown Manukau, and Countdown Ponsonby are the first Auckland stores to sell Rescued products.

Karen Pham

Karen Pham

Karen Pham is a marketing and branding enthusiast with a major in legal English. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, she is a contributor to Viable.Earth.



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