J Sainsbury plc : We are what we wasteNovember 25, 2011 No Comments
Consumers and waste – not the sexiest subject. in fact one that is difficult to do much with, and difficult to sell – both internally or externally.
well, we've been partnering with WRAP (Waste Resources Action Programme) for a number of years now supporting their Love Food Hate Waste campaign. A few years ago we ran a campaign called love your Leftovers and followed this up with some in-store customer engagement by giving away plastic storage containers.
This time round we have commissioned some interesting research to understand UK shopping and food waste habits by creating new consumer typologies. the results are fascinating. Sampling over 2,000 people we found that the majority (25%) were "Food Phobics" – people who needlessly throw away food that is approaching the best before date without even checking. Also guilty were "Hungry Hoarders" – shoppers that stock up on goods impulsively but then don't have the time to eat them, and "Ditzy Diarists" – who go shopping, forgetting that they are out most of the week. Combined they accounted for 20%.
there are some 'good guys' out there though, "Freezer Geezers" who regularly use their freezers to store leftovers and "Conscientious Consumers" who like making new recipes out of leftovers. Combined they accounted for 44% of the sample.
I was quite shocked, but I suppose deep down not that surprised. We all lead more hectic lives, where meal planning is just another chore to slot in, but I can't help feeling that many people see food still as a very disposable part of their lives, not something that has both social and environmental impacts if wasted.
what more are we doing? We work closely with charities like Fareshare in distributing our own food waste to charities, but with WRAP's help we have trained colleagues in our food colleges (bakery, meat, fish and poultry) to help deliver food waste advice to customers, covering everything from the best way to store foods to keep them fresher for longer to inspiring people to cook with common foods.
so how do you go about cutting down on food waste? Here are some of our top tips:
- Make the most of foods approaching use by date: why not cook and freeze for later use? for example, cook those sausages, freeze them and then turn them into a sausage risotto on another day.
- Remember to check the fridge daily (not just to get the milk out!) and look at dates and what needs using up – use this information in your meal planning. for example, if the eggs are approaching their 'best before' date then it might be omelettes for tea instead!
- No need to throw carrots and cucumbers away if they've gone a bit soft. Just put them in a glass of water in the fridge – they'll perk up in no time. You can then peel and chop carrots, onions etc, bag them and freeze. when needed, just take out as much as you need and reseal. No more soggy veg at the bottom of your veg box.
- A curry is a good solution for just about any unused or leftover food, even vegetables that are on the soft side will be fine in a curry or casserole.
- always finding the half used jar of pesto at the back of the fridge? why not freeze the leftovers for another day?
- Understand the best way to store foods to keep them fresher for longer. keep your fridge at the correct temperature: below 5
- What are some rules of thumb with regard to food storage – in sofar as keeping it fresh?
- Serving, "survival food," on a date?
- Do you keep an emergency food supply stocked ?
- I Need Help – Student Food Budget/Shopping?
- Thanksgiving survival guide cookbook?