The research shows British families believe they only throw away 10 meals a month when in fact they waste more than four times that amount, according to the YouGov research.
According to WRAP figures, over 4m tonnes of edible food is binned annually in the UK yet over 80% of UK families are under the impression they waste little, or no food.
Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s head of sustainability – “Food waste is one of the biggest issues facing us all today and with households unaware of just how much food they are binning there is a huge food waste knowledge gap”
The YouGov research, which revealed the “food waste gap”, showed that families believe they are wasting no more than £30 a month, but are actually throwing away foodstuffs worth £58.30 per household.
The research coincides with Sainsbury’s launches its £10m initiative Waste Less, Save More, to radically reduce household food waste.
The retailer’s five year programme to tackle food waste kicks off this week in Swadlincote, a market town in Derbyshire which beat applications from 188 other UK towns and cities to be Sainsbury’s test-bed food waste reduction town.
Over the next year the retailer will invest £1m in the area to test the latest innovations in an ambitious bid to cut household waste by 50%, equating to a saving of £350 per household. The target to halve food waste is in line with UN Goals to be achieved by 2030.
The launch will see a number of innovative ideas including fridge thermometers, smarter kitchen appliances and the Olio food sharing app being trialled. Swadlincote is the first place outside of London where the free Olio app is available, allowing neighbours, friends and cafes to share surplus or unwanted food by posting pictures of it online and enabling those who can use it to get in touch.
Further technologies designed to help customers enjoy food for longer will be introduced during the 12 month project; and findings from the year-long trial in Swadlincote will be used to create a blueprint for towns and cities across the UK.
Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s head of sustainability, said: “Food waste is one of the biggest issues facing us all today and with households unaware of just how much food they are binning there is a huge food waste knowledge gap.
“Customers have told us that food waste is their number one concern, which is why starting today we’re investing £10m to tackle it. Our target to help Swadlincote halve its food waste is very ambitious but with the support of the community and a bank of great ideas to test we believe we can help people change their habits.
“If we’re successful households will save £350 per year.”