It’s not easy being green, according to Britain’s biggest consumer panel
Nine in 10 UK consumers care about 'being green', but the same number admit to throwing away food, according to a major new survey carried out by Asda.
According to the supermarket chain’s Green Britain Index – a survey of 20,000 shoppers – 90% said they cared about being green, with 72% saying the green credentials of food products are now influencing customer purchases.
However, 92% of those asked admitted to throwing away food – 9% admitted to throwing out food waste on a daily basis, while 41% said it rarely happens.
The survey was conducted on Asda’s ‘Everyday Experts’ consumer panel – the biggest consumer panel of its kind in Britain. Asda and the University of Leeds collected the data, and will use the information to provide further help for customers to cut down on food waste.
The report states: “From the information our Everyday Experts have given us, Asda and the University of Leeds have worked together to figure out the best way to help customers stop wasting so much food.
“Throughout 2015, our project with the University of Leeds will continue to help our customers tackle food waste using new, innovative ways.
“We will be working towards improving on-pack labels and will continue to give customers the very best advice for reducing their food waste at home.”
WRAP estimates a total of 15 million tonnes of food are discarded each year in the UK. Asda found that its customers believed they would save no more than £20 per month by eliminating their food waste and 35% said they thought they only lost £5 per month due to food waste. This compares to the actual average figure, which resource experts WRAP estimate to by nearly £60 per month.
Asda’s consumer panel also reported the kinds of foods people are most likely to throw out. Salad topped the list at 34% with a further 31% admitting throwing out baked goods in the last week. Just 8% said they had thrown out meat in the past seven days.
Only 34% said they used a separate food compost bin to dispose of waste, with 42% saying food waste went straight into general waste bins. According to seperate recycling figures from WRAP, improved recycling rates are associated with local authorities which food waste compost bins, with many not offering food waste collections.Buying decisions
Asda was one of three major supermarket chains at June’s Fareshare event in London, where senior supply chain director Matt Wood agreed that more collaboration was needed to tackle the growing problem of food waste in the UK. Speaking at the time, Wood said: “It doesn’t matter if we’re green, orange or blue – this is a coming together for the greater good.”
In another section of Asda’s survey, shoppers said locally-sourced produce topped their list when choosing more environmentally-friendly food products, with organic and free range credentials also featuring as influences. However, most customers ranked price (36%) and quality (25%) above where the product is sourced from (10%) in their buying decisions.
Asda says it will use the data to improve the sustainability of its supply chain and in its more than 600 UK stores.