As in many other western countries, food waste is a large problem in Switzerland. Did you know that up to one third of all food produced in Switzerland is thrown away? Instead of feeding people, simply ends up in the trash can. Luckily, there are organisations that aim to fight this problem. With Too Good to Go, you can buy surprise food bags that contain food that otherwise might end up in the trash can. Another great initiative that helps the Swiss appreciate perfectly edible food more is the bakery ‘Ässbar’.
This company with bakeries in eight Swiss cities sells bread that partnered bakeries were unable to sell the day before. At Ässbar bakeries consumers can buy day-old (but perfectly fine!) bread for a lower price and help fight food waste in Switzerland. The slogan of this bakery chain is ‘Fresh from yesterday!’, pointing out that day-old baked goods are still very tasty!
Ässbar (which phonetically means ‘Edible’ in German) was founded in 2013 by four friends who wanted to fight food waste. The very first bakery of the company was opened in the same year in Niederdorf in Zürich. Seven years later and the bakery chain has expanded to several major Swiss cities and shows no signs of slowing down its expansion plans. The chain of bakeries now saves approximately 800.000 kilos of bread and baked goods from the trash bin every single year!
So how does this work? Ässbar collaborates with local bakeries and picks up any baked goods that are not sold in the end of the day. While this food would normally be thrown away, Ässbar attempts to sell the goods in their own bakeries the day after. Naturally, the bakeries that Ässbar picks up the goods from are compensated for their unsold bread.
For consumers, the bakeries from Ässbar offer the opportunity to get bread, sandwiches, pastries and cakes for heavily discounted prices. And in case the food waste fighting company is unable to sell everything, the items are not simply thrown away. They collaborate with charities that ensure that unsold baked goods end up with people that need it the most. Food that can not be gifted to charities is instead turned into biogas.
A budget trip tip
Are you visiting a major Swiss city? Chances are that the city has its own Ässbar bakery. As of 2021, Ässbar has stores in the following cities: Basel, Bern, Biel, Fribourg, Lucern, Lausanne, Winterthur and of course Zürich.
With its central locations in these cities, Ässbar offers a great opportunity to save money during your trip. Meanwhile you are also helping the environment by fighting food waste!
The bakeries are open at least six days a week, with some also open on Sundays. For exact opening times and locations for all stores, visit the Ässbar website.