As many families across the UK tighten their belts for a budget conscious January, new research by Mintel Consulting, in partnership with Sainsbury’s, reveals that over seven in 10 (77%) households are still throwing away food unnecessarily, leading to an annual waste bill of £680 per family, according to WRAP.
The research, carried out among 2,500 households, shows that families spend an average of £85 each week on groceries, but despite recent tough times and savvier shopping, throw away 15% of this. Three in 10 (30%) households attributed their food waste to cooking too much food at mealtimes and throwing away the left overs.
Despite the fact that 84% of British families still indulge in a Sunday Roast on a weekly basis, WRAP research reveals that the average British family wastes a staggering 5.8 kg of meat, potatoes and vegetables, equating to 1.8 billion Sunday roast meals each year. This is the equivalent to each family in the UK throwing seventy roast dinners into the dustbin every year – or one every five days.
The research also shows that 49% of families spend more time preparing the Sunday Roast than any other meal in the week. Given this, it is all the more surprising that large amounts of this these foods are thrown away.
This research has been released to mark the launch of Sainsbury’s ‘Make your Roast go Further’ campaign which supports customers in creating a further two family weekday meals from every Sunday roasting joint. Sainsbury’s are offering hints and tips on how to use your leftovers.
Susi Richards, Head of Food at Sainsbury’s said: “Our research shows that the Sunday Roast is a significant contributor to overall food waste in UK households and this is why we have made it an important part of our new Food Goes Further campaign. We want to help our customers Live Well for Less, by helping them to reduce their food waste. If each of the 22 million customers who pass through our stores each week thinks differently about their Sunday Roast leftovers, then we would see less food in the bin and more money in our customers’ pockets. We have provided a series of easy to follow recipes for leftovers, meal planners and tips to help our customers make the most of their food.”
To support the launch of the ‘Make your Roast go Further’ campaign, TV favourite and good housekeeping guru Aggie Mackenzie is lending her support to the project by helping the nation to embrace their leftovers. Aggie said: “Put quite simply, families cannot afford the bill of food waste anymore. To avoid food finding its way into the bin, roast leftovers should become the key ingredient for a second and third family meal or snack. Little steps like a well-stocked store-cupboard and meal planning and shopping for the ingredients you’ll need to make your roast joint go further, can have a big impact.”
Emma Marsh, Head of Love Food Hate Waste from WRAP, added: “Food waste isn’t good for family finances or the environment. One of the major barriers to UK households reducing their food waste is a lack of confidence in using left overs. If we can encourage UK households to get savvy with left-over food, effective planning and storage of food, we are one step closer to reducing the amount of UK waste that finds its way to landfill.”