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"BEST BEFORE DATES" - What you need to know

"BEST BEFORE DATES" - What you need to know

If you're a valued customer of "Something From Home", then you know that honesty is one of our core values. That's why we wanted to take this opportunity to educate our customers on the very interesting topic of "Best before dates".

Did you know that the "Best before" date on food products is not an indicator of food safety? In fact, the Best before date is simply a manufacturer's estimate of how long the product will be at its peak quality. After the Best before date has passed, the food may still be 100% safe to eat.

If you've been noticing that some of your snacks are nearing or have already reached their best before dates, don't worry - you're not going crazy. Best before dates are often misunderstood, and it's totally normal for perfectly good food to reach (or even exceed) them.

Different Best Before Dates

Did you know that the same batch of product can have two different best before dates? That's right, depending on whether it's destined for the local South African market or for export, the date can differ by a few months.

We have recently bought Biscuits from Bakers in South Africa, and specially got these produced for export purposes. What is quite funny is that the same ingredients are used, yes the export expiry dates are normally longer than local stock. Simba Chips is a very good example - Local stock on average is 3 months vs export stock being 6 months.

Shipping periods

Once these are manufactured, containers on average leave 20-30 days later due to time required for transport from the manufacturer to the exporter and then once all the products are consolidated, shipment to the port in Durban. Stacking periods can add an additional 10 days, as ships are loaded and leave once all paperwork is completed.

If you're shipping from South Africa, be prepared for delays. Recent floods and riots have caused containers to be delayed by 60-90 days...did you see the containers floating down the N2 highway?


Once the container is on the ship, it takes another 83-90 to arrive in the warehouse in now we are 5-6 months into the period already.

But lets assume everything is running 100% smooth...that leaves us 4-5 months from the date the manufacturing date is printed on the Chips, to arriving in Auckland - but that NEVER happens. We then have 30 days to sell 500 packets of Chips...🙈

That raised another question...why don't we buy less at a time...taking into account that the average container cost R80,000 to ship, you have to ensure that the containers are as full as possible to try and keep the import cost per product as low as possible.

Confidence in Online Shopping

Very interesting was the comments on our recent post on Facebook where we asked if adding the Best Before dates of all products helps...the comments were all positive and as such we have started the process to record ALL Best Before dates on food items - we are probably the ONLY South African shop in New Zealand that does this.

Best Before dates

So next time you're looking at a food product and wondering whether or not to buy it because it's past the Best before date, remember that it's not necessarily expired. The decision is up to you, but we hope this information was helpful!

Thank you for being a valued customer.

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