Sainsbury’s Food Rescue fuses mobile voice recognition technology with recipe inspiration to give users practical help and advice on using up ingredients that would otherwise be forgotten about and go to waste. (Scroll down for video)

“Shopping habits have really changed,” said Sainsbury’s marketing director Sarah Warby. “Families are savvier than ever, looking for practical help to make the most of the food in their cupboards and fridges. 

“We know that confidence and know-how can really help people reduce the amount of food they throw away. We’ve created Sainsbury’s Food Rescue with Google to inspire people to turn the food items they already have into something delicious. And over the months ahead we’ll be able to see how much food and money British households are saving by using Sainsbury’s Food Rescue, as well as the popular ways to save.” 

Users of Sainsbury’s Food Rescue can say or input up to nine ingredients and in return will be presented with recipe inspiration from more than 1,200 choices ranging from full dinners to simple snacks.

Food waste leaderboard

Live technology from Google is then able to record the weight of the food rescued and the money saved per completed recipe. This feeds into a leaderboard to show which regions across the UK lead the way when it comes to rescuing their food. Users can also see the most rescued ingredient in their region and the most popular recipes being cooked across the country. 

Google’s director of creative strategy Indy Saha said: “More people in Britain are online than ever before and this growth is driven by tablets and smartphones. The average household in the UK has 3.1 devices – the highest in Europe. 

“Using our voice-search technology, the Food Rescue tool allows Sainsbury’s customers to use up the food that they might otherwise throw away. Simply say what ingredients you have left and discover simple inspirational recipes. 

“Whether you are on the way home thinking about what’s for dinner, at the supermarket lacking inspiration or in the kitchen, the tool will help you save and get better value for money by not wasting food.”

Video: Sainsbury’s Food Rescue

The new initiative has been welcomed by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which estimates that 4.2 million tonnes of avoidable food and drink is still wasted each year, leading to the average family losing out on £60 each month. 

Emma Marsh of WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign said: “Our research has shown that one of the main reasons that we throw away food from our homes is because we don’t get around to eating it before it’s gone past it’s best. 

“We’re delighted to have worked with Sainsbury’s; helping customers to reduce their food waste with the launch of Sainsbury’s Food Rescue. It’s a fantastic tool which can help everyone to make the most of their forgotten foods and leftover ingredients by providing some tasty recipe ideas.” 

Users can access the tool by visiting

Luke Nicholls

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