Walnut Unlimited helping Tesco to reduce food waste
continues to be a huge problem around the world. Over one billion tonnes of food around the world are thrown away every year.
Along with reducing plastic use,
is an extremely contentious issue at the moment. It is getting a lot of publicity in the news and on social media.
Removing Best Before Dates.
In a bid to reduce the amount of
food being wasted
in the UK, Tesco launched a new initiative. The ‘best before’ dates on seventy fresh fruit and veg products have been removed. This is in response to the large quantity of food being thrown away.
Many consumers use the best before date as a way of identifying what is fit for consumption. However, the best before date isn’t actually an expiration date. It’s an approximate guideline. By removing these dates, Tesco encourage customers to use their own judgement on when fresh produce is still ok to eat. The aim is that shoppers will be less likely to throw it away when it’s still edible.
We recently worked in partnership with Tesco to identify whether this initiative has been well received by the public. Our aim was to find out whether Tesco is achieving its aim of encouraging people to keep food for longer before throwing it away.
We employed our Walnut Omnibus to discover that 69% of Tesco customers believe scrapping best before dates was a good idea and that over half (53%) believe scrapping best before dates makes a difference, helping them keep perfectly good food for longer.
It has been great to see our research appear on BBC News, The Guardian, The Independent, The Grocer, and Which. It is clear that this is a topic we’re all interested in. The BBC News article alone generated over 450 comments on the topic of waste. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45786012
Our insight provided clear evidence to Tesco that this initiative is definitely worth continuing. Since our work, Tesco have removed the best before dates off an additional one-hundred fresh product lines.
However we know that there is still work to be done.
The Human Understanding.
Our own behaviour is often the primary cause of food waste in our households. We know from our work with retailers that shoppers like to see an abundance of fresh food in supermarkets. This creates a better perception of quality, range and appeal. Overstocking in our own homes is also linked to this – our feeling of generosity and future planning.
Do we need to do more to shift the individual consumer relationship with food from one of thoughtless convenience to mindful frugality?
To chat more about food waste, or find out about polling the nation with our online omnibus, please feel free to get in touch!