Sankei Super doesn’t vouch for the flavor, but the local Tokyo grocer offers select expired items at massive discounts, in addition to an already cheap lineup of other goods.

In a lot of ways, buying discount items at a grocery store is always going to be a bit of a gamble. Maybe the item is out of season and not the freshest it could be, or maybe it’s a failed flavor experiment that sounded good on paper but wound up tasting like dog butt. Whatever the reason for the sale, grocers at least tend to observe one absolute lowest denominator: Sale or no, the item still needs to be within its “best by” date.


That is, unless that grocer is Sankei Super in Tokyo’s Kameido district. The already super discounted retailer has a special “Mottainai” (“What a waste!”) corner full of items that are technically expired, sold for just pennies on the dollar. We suppose it’s the natural, inevitable extreme of that risk-reward thrill of buying questionable discount groceries, but behind the bafflingly cheap price tags is a somewhat sinister truth you can’t unknow.

See, in Japan (and also in a shockingly large number of other developed countries), there are no laws governing the ubiquitous “best by” date manufacturers slap on food and drink products. The manufacturer of, let’s say, a cheap Twinkie knockoff, is legally just as justified labeling their “food” as “Best by: Tomorrow,” as they are labeling it, “Best by: The inevitable heat death of the sun itself, thousands and thousands of years from now.” It’s all up to the manufacturer’s judgment, but many perfectly good products are inevitably going to fall victim to the industry’s insistence on a “best by” label that ranges from a week or so for perishable goods to a couple of years for canned food.



Most of the time, these “expired” items are trashed, but Sankei Super apparently took one look at all these shunned goods and saw a legal loophole, a bunch of (smaller than usual) dollar signs, and quite possibly an opportunity to do his bit to reduce the amount of wastage in its country. For as little as around 29 yen (US$.20), frugal shoppers can snag a variety of past-due items at Sankei Super, from miso soup and udon noodles, to bread, cheese and a number of drinks. The retailer itself promises the expired items won’t give you any mysterious diseases, while our RocketNews24 Japan sister site staff – braver men and women than we – personally taste tested many of the items and approved them as almost as tasty as their fresher counterparts.




Outside of the expired goods, Sankei Super also sells other items at steep discounts, making the grocer a cheapo’s dream come true, provided, of course, you’re okay with mostly living on preservative-laden pre-made foods, candy, and energy drinks – which, let’s face it, is probably already the bulk of your diet anyway.

Sankei Super is about an eight-minute walk from Kameido Station. Those in the area can check out the store info below.









Location information
Sankei Super
Address: 3 Chome-59-15 Kameido, Kōtō-ku, Tōkyō-to 136-0071
Open 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.

Images © RocketNews24
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