Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart has changed the way it sells "oden," a popular hot-pot dish that uses a variety of ingredients. The company says it's part of an effort to reduce food waste from the winter favorite.
Some of the common ingredients are "chikuwa" fish-paste roll, and stewed "daikon" white radish. Until now, the chain has sold all these items together from large, heated pots.
Customers choose the ingredients they want from the pot. The ones left unsold after a few hours are then discarded.
Some FamilyMart stores will now sell packages of different combinations of ingredients. Customers can choose a particular set, and have it heated by microwave and served in a bowl.
The officials say this change will "cut the cost of waste and help raise store profits. We will think about how to use the new system more widely after seeing how sales go."
Other Japanese convenience store chains are trying to reduce food waste as well. Seven-Eleven Japan is extending "sell-by" times by analyzing packages and ingredients. Lawson is developing frozen foods that remain good for longer times.