This past year, frozen food made a comeback thanks to healthier and tastier options hitting your grocer’s freezer, and the debunking of the myth that fresh is always healthier than frozen. For the first time in five years, the frozen food market has grown, and consumers are starting to see frozen products as a healthy option for easy meal prep. Now, one grocer is taking freezer food to the next level with bulk bins and zero-waste packaging.

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In recent years, frozen food companies have shortened their ingredients lists by removing artificial ingredients from frozen dinners and meal kits, and they have also introduced new flavors and recipes. Recent studies have shown that frozen fruits and veggies are healthier than fresher fare because of the fast-freezing techniques that lock in the nutrients. Fresh foods gradually lose their nutrients during the time it takes to go from the farm to your kitchen.

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Now, to capitalize on this growing trend, the Globus Hypermarket in the Czech Republic has introduced a self-service frozen food section that minimizes packaging.

The grocer has set up displays of various frozen fruits and veggies — everything from broccoli and cauliflower to plums and berries — and customers can scoop up as much as they need and take the items home in reusable packaging.

There are also processed frozen food items and frozen meal kits available, which aren’t as healthy as the frozen fruits and veggies. But offering a no-waste version to these treats is better for the planet.

The rising popularity of frozen food could mean a lot less food waste, which is a huge global problem. In the U.S. alone, 40 percent of the food produced ends up in the trash. When consumers opt for frozen over fresh, the food doesn’t go bad nearly as fast. Compared to the enormous waste that goes with takeout meals (plastic containers, cutlery, paper napkins and plastic bags), opting for frozen food can be a lot better for the environment, especially when it comes without packaging.

+ Globus Hypermarket

Via TreeHugger

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