Sainsbury’s study reveals Brits bin 10% of weekly food shop

The average British person thinks they bin almost 10% of their weekly shop, with 8% wasting up to a quarter of the food they regularly buy, according to new research from Sainsbury's.

Supporting analysis carried out by WRAP has revealed that British shoppers are throwing away £12bn worth of food a year. It calculated that if UK households tackled avoidable food waste, they would save an average of £50 a month.

The study identified six types of people, who waste food in different ways according to their lifestyles and beliefs. Sainsbury’s has subsequently drawn up a set of waste ‘typologies’ to help people identify the ways they waste food.

Hungry Hoarders, who make up 11% of the UK adult population, shop while hungry, resulting in impulse purchases. They often fail to plan ahead meaning their shop might not create complete meals.

Another key offender is the Ditsy Diarist, who accounts for 9% of the population. Ditsy Diarists do not consult their little black books before their trip to the supermarket and as they eat out a lot or work late, much of what they buy sits unused in the fridge and is eventually thrown away.

Other groups that have surfaced are the Food Phobics (25%) who are ultra-conscious and throw away food on or before the best before date without first checking its condition. The Separate Shoppers are a generation of independent individuals who buy their own food without checking what their partner or housemate has already bought, often resulting in duplication.

However all is not lost. Topping the list are the Freezer Geezers – those who love their leftovers and use their freezers effectively to minimise food waste. Similarly, Conscientious Consumers are a group who love to make meals out of leftovers. Freezer Geezers and Conscientious Consumers combined make up 44% of the population.

The majority of consumers (67%) admit they do not always plan their shopping trips by making a list or meal planning, instead deciding what to buy while in the store. Meanwhile 46% admit that they do not know the correct ways to store food.

Following the findings, Sainsbury’s is introducing a raft of new measures to help reduce the amount of food waste. It will be working in conjunction with WRAP’s ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ initiative to train in-store counter colleagues to give customers practical tips and advice to help reduce their household food waste.

Sainsbury’s head of climate change & environment, Jack Cunningham, said: “No one wants to waste food, but unpredictable lifestyles and hectic schedules mean many think it is unavoidable. By recognising which type of shopper they are, customers can learn to plan meals more effectively, cutting waste and reducing household costs.”

Maxine Perella

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