Mercadona takes steps to prevent food waste

In 2022, Mercadona donated a total of 25,100 tons of products, 23,200 in Spain and 1,900 in Portugal. This figure is equivalent to more than 418,200 shopping carts and represents a 22% increase compared to the previous year. This aid was distributed in collaboration with over 550 solidarity entities in Spain and Portugal.
Mon 03/07/2023 by by Maria Belen Barbini
Mercadona has created its own management project, the Total Quality Model, which supports its principles and values.
Mercadona's mission is to offer the end consumer products/solutions that cater to their food and beverage needs, as well as for personal, home and animal care.
The Mercadona philosophy is "Total Quality".

To reduce food waste and its social, economic and environmental impact, Mercadona applies six main strategies:

1. Adjusting prices for products close to their expiry dates. This concerns perishable products, including fruits and vegetables, and makes it easier to sell surpluses.

2. Daily orders to stores to avoid stock accumulating in warehouses and supermarkets.

3. An “Always Low Prices” policy, without offers or promotions, thus promoting responsible consumption by avoiding buying more than necessary and stockpiling. This commercial policy was launched in 1993 to guarantee the highest quality shopping basket at the lowest possible price.

4. Adjustment of orders to sales forecasts via a proprietary computer tool that processes sales history, taking into account factors such as days with the greatest influx of customers, time of year, holidays, seasonality and weather conditions, among others.

5. Delivery of products unfit for consumption to authorised organisations who transform them into fertiliser, energy or animal feed. This takes place with with animal by-products not apt for human consumption that are generated in stores and warehouses, as well as with by-products from its bread factories, which are transformed by authorised bodies into ingredients for animal feed. In 2022, a total of 16,622 tons were recovered this way, compared to 12,254 tons in 2021.

6. Daily donations of unsold surpluses to local social entities.

Turnover of €31 billion in 2022, 11% more than in 2021, but inflation has reduced profit margins

Mercadona, which has both physical supermarkets and online sales, increased its turnover by 11% in 2022, to over €31 billion. Of this total, €30.3 billion pertains to business in Spain and the remaining €737 million to Portugal, where its growing network of 39 stores has seen sales rise by 77% on the previous year.

In the last twelve months, the company has created more than 3,000 new stable and quality jobs, 1,000 of them in Portugal. This meant that at the close of the year, the retailer had a workforce of around 99,000 people, all with permanent contracts. In addition, to guarantee the purchasing power of its staff within the framework of its Total Quality Model, Mercadona has improved both the base salary and the existing complements of its entire workforce, which has resulted in a salary increase in line with the inflation rate of each country, specifically 5.7% in Spain and 9.6% in Portugal, with the entry salary in Portugal increasing by 11%.

Most significant achievements in 2022


1,637 stores

95,500 employees

2,200 new jobs

€22.3b in purchases

€30.3b in turnover 

€783m in investment


39 stores (with 10 more to open in 2023)

3,500 employees

1,000 new jobs

€789m in purchases

€737m in turnover 

€140m in investment

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