Research: Reducing food waste - how packaging can help
A new report by WRAP highlights that changes in consumer attitudes and behaviours around packaging could help reduce household food waste: Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging. The research reinforces that consumers do not realise the important role packaging plays in helping to reducing food waste, particularly once they get products home. Whilst there is recognition that packaging is important to protect food on its way to, and in, the store, only 13% of consumers believe that it can play the same role in the home. Despite continued packaging innovation to extend in-home life, through the use of intelligent materials, vacuum-packing and more recloseable packs, most consumers still believe that keeping food in packaging at home leads to it spoiling more quickly. The research also shows that consumers feel confident about how they store food. However only 22% currently look at storage guidance on pack which would maximise life in the home, and many are in reality storing foods in less than ideal conditions. Not surprisingly the research found that, after price, freshness and how long food lasts for are the most important factors for consumers. However throwing away food as a result of it not being used in time is costing UK consumers £6.7 billion a year (News release WRAP, 5 March 2013).