An increase in the availability of smaller pack sizes, clearer date labelling and improved storage and freezing guidance are all helping consumers to reduce the £12bn worth of food they waste, says new research from Wrap.
The Wrap Retailer Survey 2012 demonstrates that the food industry is making good progress towards making it easier for customers to get the best from the food they buy – but it shows there’s still more to be done.
The 2012 survey looked at 12,000 products across 20 different categories where food waste has traditionally been high, including bread, bacon, chicken, apples, carrots, potatoes, bagged salad, rice, pasta, yoghurt, eggs, cheese and milk.
Wrap Design & Waste Prevention director Richard Swannell, said: “We know from our research into food waste that the amount we’re throwing away every year has fallen – but we’re still wasting enough food to fill Wembley Stadium nine times.
"There is still more we could all do to reduce waste – and save money in these hard-pressed times - and the food industry can help us.”
The survey’s findings included:
- 96% of all products surveyed carried storage guidance, helping consumers keep food fresher for longer
- New labelling being rolled out by retailers including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, and now Waitrose, makes it clear consumers don’t have to freeze goods on the day of purchase, but can do so any time up to the ‘use by’ date.
- The use of ‘display until’ dates has fallen dramatically with less than a third of surveyed products carrying this. No ‘sell by’ dates were found on any of the products.
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