A six-week trial with households from across the nation saw 53 households test a series of interventions, spanning effective meal planning, storing food properly and inventive cooking classes from Tesco chefs, to ensure every ‘edible mouthful was eaten’.
Tesco says the trial shows how ‘simple changes’ in our food habits can prevent food waste and save money.
The Tesco No Time for Waste Challenge, in collaboration with environmental charity, Hubbub, has shown how cutting the amount of food wasted in our homes can help households save an average of £858 a year.
The challenge saw 53 households test a series of ‘fun and engaging’ interventions, spanning effective meal planning, storing food properly and inventive cooking classes from Tesco chefs, to ensure every edible mouthful was eaten.
Results showed that:
- 90 per cent of households using all the food they bought each week
- 88 per cent changing their storage techniques to make food last longer
- Over two thirds (68 per cent) making more use of their freezer, as a means of preserving produce and meal portions
- Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) reported cutting their weekly food bill, with an average saving of £16.50 per household per week, equivalent to £858 over 12 months
- Between the second and sixth weeks, a 76 per cent reduction in food waste was seen; saving the equivalent of 1.46 kg of good food from the bin
Tesco says the Challenge shows that ‘boosting the know-how’ of British households when it comes to planning the food shop, storing produce correctly, and using up everything in the kitchen reaped significant rewards for both the planet and their pockets.
Food waste is a major environmental threat, contributing to around 8 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. I
t is not only an environmental disaster, but a social and economic one too when over 800 million people are undernourished worldwide. In the UK, it is estimated that 71 per cent of ‘post-farm’ food waste happens in our homes.
Each of the trial households could save over 76 kg of food from the bin if they continue their new habits for a whole year.
To help tackle the issue at scale, Tesco is inviting more customers to take on a shorter 10-day No Time For Waste Challenge themselves through a dedicated food waste hub, www.TescoFoodWasteChallenge.co.uk.
Kené Umeasiegbu, Campaigns Director at Tesco said: “Building on our commitments to reduce food waste in our operations and supply chain, we want to engage households to do the same, by providing them with inspiration and tips to cut food waste at home.
“The practical ideas from this pilot can lead to long-lasting changes in household habits, helping them to use all the food they buy. Tesco research found that the national Covid-19 lockdown drove a significant shift in the nation’s attitudes towards food, with 59% of us wanting to do more to cut food waste at home.
“At Tesco, we want to stop all good food going to waste, and I hope that the No Time For Waste Challenge will help more families to reduce food waste by changing how we plan, store and cook our food.”
Aoife Allen, Head of Food at Hubbub said: “We know that food waste is a stubborn problem for many households so it’s really promising to see these results.
At Tesco, we want to stop all good food going to waste, and I hope that the No Time For Waste Challenge will help more families to reduce food waste by changing how we plan, store and cook our food.
“The group embraced meal planning and batch cooking, along with using up leftovers and freezing a wider range of foods with confidence.
“Many families reported that their little ones are now leading the charge on waste at home! And when we asked one month on whether they were keeping up their habits, 94% said that they were wasting less food than before the pilot, with eating leftovers as the top habit they’d taken forward.”
Kyeisha Gallagher, a mum for two from Sheffield who took part in the Challenge said: “I took the Challenge because I was becoming concerned how much food we wasted as a family. My little ones eat often which can result in a lot of wasted food, so I was keen to learn more around how to make more of the food I buy and do my bit for the environment.”
“Following the six-week programme, I am much more conscious about food and potential waste now. For example, when I am cooking a meal I will think ‘are we going to eat all of it within two days?’, if not, I will freeze it to avoid the leftovers going to waste.
“I also make more of an effort to use up food before it goes out of date or before my next shop. The challenge has also helped me get more creative with what I am cooking. I now use recipes I find online for random ingredients that I find in the cupboards or at the back of the fridge that are close to going out of date.”