Last updated 15/05/2009
Morrisons today announces the launch of a campaign to help customers reduce food waste - the average UK family unnecessarily throws out approximately £600 worth waste each year simply because it’s kept incorrectly or for too long to be eaten.
A survey conducted by the supermarket shows that two thirds of UK households are letting fruit go to waste, simply by keeping it in the most obvious place – the fruit bowl whereas apples actually last up to 14 days longer if kept in the fridge - and that’s not all: nine out of ten people are unaware that tomatoes can last longer - and also taste better - if kept on the kitchen counter rather than in the fridge.
Morrisons found that customers want more help when it comes to reducing food waste, with 67% of those questioned believing that supermarkets have a duty to ensure the right packaging so that food stays fresh, but only 12% thinking that supermarkets “get packaging right.”
The findings of this survey have inspired Morrisons to launch, “Great Taste, Less Waste,” a campaign to help consumers reduce food waste. Key elements of the campaign include:
- Helpful storage advice: “Best Kept” stickers are being introduced on fresh produce to clearly show how best to keep produce in the home so that it lasts longer and tastes better - be it in the fridge, the cupboard or on the counter. This will be supported with advice through the green grocer, butcher and fishmonger departments of Market Street.
- The Morrisons “Packaging laboratory: Keep it Fresh” test: to determine which fresh produce needs protecting to help reduce food waste and which do not. Morrisons customers can therefore always trust that packaging is only ever there to add freshness and value, and not as an unnecessary environmental burden.
- Morrisons ‘Market Street’ – where people can buy one chop, or one sausage if that’s all they really need
- Information to help end the confusion between “best before” and “use by” dates: which results in 55% of customers throwing food away before they need to.
- Advice on how to make the most out of leftovers – with recipe ideas communicated through the Morrisons magazine and website
Marc Bolland Chief Executive of Morrisons said:
“The best thing that customers can do is to eat the food they buy – it’s good for their wallet and good for the environment. We’re launching a campaign to help customers get the most from their fresh food, and get the best value from their shopping.”
For more information please contact:
Notes to Editors
Morrisons surveyed 1,017 UK consumers between 13th and 16th February 2009
1. Source WRAP, The food we waste, 2008
The Morrisons “Keep It Fresh Test”
Good packaging can actually help to cut food waste - by allowing food to stay fresh for longer and by informing us on how to store and cook the food correctly. Damaged food is worse for the environment than well thought out packaging
Sometimes, “good” packaging is obvious. For example, selling fragile fruits such as grapes in trays or bags has reduced in-store waste of grapes by 20% . Other times, however, the need to package or not to package can be difficult to determine – and can even be counterintuitive. For example, if potatoes are sold loose, on average 3% are wasted in store because of deterioration on exposure to light – potatoes go green, and put out shoots. Simple packaging can reduce this wastage by two thirds or even more.
In 2006, the Women’s Institute launched a campaign asking for the removal of plastic wrapping from supermarket cucumbers. A cucumber doesn’t look like it needs packaging as it isn’t susceptible to bruising.
In actual fact, a cucumber has a “best before” life of 3 days – which film can increase almost 5 times over, to 14 days. This is because a cucumber is 96% water, which it begins to lose as soon as it is picked. After 3 days, it has lost so much water that it becomes dull, limp and unsellable. Wrapping it in just 1.5 grammes of plastic film extends its quality dramatically .
As the need to package or not to package can be difficult to determine, we are pleased to be introducing the Morrisons Keep it Fresh Test to determine which fresh produce needs protecting to help reduce food waste – and which do not. Morrisons customers can therefore always trust that our packaging is only ever there to add freshness and value, and not as an unnecessary environmental burden.