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Wasted food costing families £800 a year warns Tesco

New research by Tesco shows that the average British family is wasting approximately £800 worth of edible food a year. The nationwide study reveals three quarters… View Article


Wasted food costing families £800 a year warns Tesco

New research by Tesco shows that the average British family is wasting approximately £800 worth of edible food a year.

The nationwide study reveals three quarters of UK households (77%) say they throw away unopened or unused food, more than a third (37%) doing so on at least a monthly basis and a staggering half a million people are throwing away food they forgot to eat or never opened on a daily basis.

The research revealed the top items most commonly wasted in UK homes includes chicken breasts; potatoes; sliced bread; lettuce; milk and bananas.

The campaign comes at a time when cost of living challenges have caused many households to explore savvy ways to save. Over three in five (61%) are now planning to shop more carefully and only buy what they need. While many (45%) want to take steps to reduce the amount of food they waste at home, the research has found that lack of time, planning and understanding about what they can cook, and by when, is getting in the way.

To help families battle their binning and make their food and money go further, Tesco has teamed up with Unilever brand, Hellmann’s, to create a ‘Use Up Day’ campaign. This will be to encourage the nation to – once a week – cook a meal using up food they already have in their kitchen.

A recent study by Hellmann’s, which was the largest and longest behavioural study into household food waste, demonstrated that the average family could reduce the amount of food thrown away at home by a third and save around a third of waste per year by adopting this simple food hack, which equates to a potential financial saving of £260 per year.

The campaign will dish up a range of resources for consumers including a ‘Use Up Day’ guide to help families find their perfect ‘Use Up Day’ and a variety of recipes that make use of commonly thrown away ingredients. Tesco’s recipe finder tool can also help shoppers discover new recipes in seconds by inputting spare, leftover and unused ingredients.

For shoppers eager to reduce waste and spend less, Tesco’s new food waste hub also includes money saving tips and advice on how to make batch-cooking a budget-friendly game-changer that turns your freezer into your new best friend.

Food waste doesn’t just impact our pockets, it is also a major environmental threat, contributing to around 8 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In the UK, it is estimated that 71 per cent of food waste happens in our homes, creating a significant opportunity for supermarkets to support shoppers to cut waste, save money and help the planet.

Kené Umeasiegbu, Campaigns Director from Tesco said: “No one sets out to waste food but all too often hectic lifestyles, changing plans or just plain forgetfulness can mean good food ends up in the bin and money down the drain. We know that right now every little helps that’s why we are launching our ‘Use Up Day’ campaign to help our customers spend less and cut waste by using food already in their kitchen.

“We recognise that lack of time and the perception that you need to be a skilled cook can be a barrier to taking action. It’s why a ‘Use Up Day’ is straightforward and easy to implement – using recipes that are quick, tasty and help you make your food go further today.”

Katharine Crossland, Shopper Marketing Director at Unilever UK & Ireland, said “No good food should go to waste, which is why Hellmann’s is always looking for more ways to make taste, not waste. We have an opportunity and responsibility to help shoppers get more out of their food shop – one delicious recipe at a time. Small changes in our behaviour and simple interventions, such as committing one day a week to using up leftovers, all add up. It’s great to partner with Tesco on this campaign – every morsel of good food that is used up, rather than chucked out, is better for our planet and our wallets.”

Commenting on the campaign announcement, Mark Breen, Senior Creative Partner at environmental charity Hubbub, said: “It’s great to see Tesco and Unilever launch the ‘Use Up Day’ campaign to help people eat everything they buy. This campaign is being launched at the perfect time. Spiralling food and energy costs mean we’ll all have to look out for simple tips and hacks to save some cash. Reducing our food waste by shopping our kitchens keeps delicious food on the table, cash in our pockets and at the same time we can do our bit for the planet.”

Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change, WRAP added: “The average UK household wastes eight meals a week – wasting food costs money and feeds climate change. Food businesses can really help shoppers reduce the amount of food ending up in the bin, through simple changes like the one being championed by Tesco and Unilever. Less food wasted means more money in people’s pockets, and a lower carbon footprint – a win-win for people and planet!”

To get involved, people can visit to pick a ‘Use Up Day’ that suits their lifestyle and start cooking a tasty meal every week using food that’s already in their fridge or cupboards.


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