Shoppers turning to leftovers to reduce waste, save money

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 19th February 2009

According to latest research from international food and grocery expert IGD, nearly a quarter of British shoppers are seeking inspirational recipe ideas for leftover food in a bid to reduce food waste and save money.

Approximately, one third of food shoppers buy is thrown away, costing British consumers alone about £10 billion (A$22b) a year. On top of the obvious environmental concerns, there is an increasing appreciation that wasted food means wasted money. In these challenging times, shoppers are seeking ways to make the most of every ingredient in their basket in the most cost effective way.

In IGD’s Shopper Trends 2009 – Food Shopping in a Recession report, shoppers were asked to identify areas they thought would help households reduce food waste. Recipe ideas for leftovers increased to almost a quarter (24%) compared to just 14% in 2007. More than a third (35%) of these advocates were AB shoppers (wealthy consumers).

Other factors that shoppers felt would help reduce the amount of food thrown away included: smaller portion sizes (36%); resealable packaging, which increased eight percentage points since 2007 to 37%; and better food planning, which rose from 43% to 49%.

“Wasting good food costs money and adversely impacts on the environment. One of the ways that people are reacting to the recession is making a greater effort to minimise food waste in the kitchen,” Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive of IGD, said. “There’s a growing interest in making good use of leftovers but many people lack experience and confidence in this area and need some help and advice on how to do this safely. Providing more of this presents a good opportunity for food companies to support consumers in challenging times.”