To combat food waste, Swiss company turns unused bread into schnapps

To combat food waste, Swiss company turns unused bread into schnapps

In an effort to combat food waste, an organisation in Canton Uri, Switzerland, has put forward a plan that would see them distil leftover and stale bread into schnapps. The so-called “Brotschnaps” uses soon-to-be-discarded bread items from local bakeries, with the organisers hoping to become a national brand in the future.

Leftover food waste converted into schnapps

According to Denis Aschwanden from Uri Food-Waste, the idea started after he and two colleagues noticed that a huge amount of bread is left unsold across the canton every week. Therefore, instead of throwing the bread items out at the end of each working day, adding to Switzerland’s less-than-stellar food waste statistics, the entrepreneurs decided to use the bread to make something new and long-lasting, without which any traditional fondue in Switzerland would be incomplete: schnapps.

Speaking to 20 Minuten, Aschwanden said that “we know many bakeries that are left with unsold bread. In cooperation with many people, the idea of ​​making our own bread schnapps came about." He explained that they have contacted all the largest bakery chains in Canton Uri, who have now agreed to sell them their unsold and old bread.

Swiss bread schnapps hopes to catch on nationwide

The schnapps is distilled on the day they receive the bread, with Aschwanden noting that each type of loaf produces a different flavour. "White bread tends to provide more sugar, black bread tends to have more flavour…We were surprised, but the schnapps is surprisingly fruity with spicy notes on the finish,” he added.

Once they have gathered enough money for their first batch (at the time of writing they are 33.000 francs away), the organisers want to start small-scale production within Uri. However, in future, they want to roll out the idea to supermarkets across Switzerland and "be recognised as a commercial distillery,” Aschwanden concluded.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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