Best (before) Foods mayo is worried about your food waste problem

by | Oct 5, 2023 | News

According to new research conducted on Kiwi food waste habits, Sunday is the day when 39.8 percent of New Zealanders are most likely to dispose of perfectly edible food and leftovers.

In a bid to address this concerning trend, Best Foods have launched “Second Chance Sundays,” an initiative designed to educate and engage Kiwis, showing them how they can turn their waste into taste.

Interestingly the research highlighted that leftovers themselves are the ‘food’ most frequently discarded at 60.8%, with soggy salad ingredients following closely behind at 58.9%.  This trend was seen across all the different types of households surveyed which included ‘singles,’ ‘couples,’ ‘families,’ and ‘flatties.’

When probing the reasons behind this food wastage, respondents pointed to overbuying at supermarkets (46.2%) and a shortage of time for cooking and repurposing leftovers (39.2%) as the primary culprits.

To help combat this issue, Best Foods has enlisted the expertise of MasterChef finalist Elliot McClymont, who has crafted a collection of valuable tips and tricks to show how leftovers can be transformed into delicious dishes. By highlighting just how easy it can be to give leftovers a second chance, Best Foods aims to instil better habits and reduce food waste in New Zealand.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand how minor adjustments to our approach to food can make a significant impact. ‘Second Chance Sundays’ are about empowering Kiwis to be more mindful and resourceful in the kitchen,” says McClymont.

Food waste is a recurring problem in Kiwi households, with some families tossing perfectly edible food away as often as twice a week. Interestingly, there are notable generational differences, with Gen Zs and Millennials displaying a much higher tendency to discard food compared to Gen Xs and Baby Boomers.

Nabomita Bagchi, Brand Manager at Best Foods, Unilever International, emphasises, “Reducing food waste is everyone’s responsibility, and we can all do better. We’ve created Second Chance Sundays to encourage Kiwis to consider what’s in their fridge and how it can be used before disposal. If everyone reduces their food waste on Sundays, we’d make significant progress.”

In addition to the Second Chance Sundays campaign, Best Foods is furthering its commitment to sustainability by transitioning its jars to recycled plastic. “Some of our new jars are already on the shelves, and we hope that by Q1 2024, all our jars will be made from recycled plastic,” says Bagchi.

This Sunday, Best Foods is encouraging all Kiwis to get behind Second Chance Sundays and give their food a second chance.

“Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated; using what you have can lead to more taste and less waste.” Concludes McClymont.

Summary of Research Findings

  • Most notably, Sundays emerge as the day when Kiwis tend to waste the most food. New Zealand households are nearly twice as likely to throw away food on a Sunday, then any other given day of the week.
  • Shockingly, 55% of Kiwis are throwing away edible food at least weekly, if not more frequently.
  • Gen Zs and Millennials display a much higher tendency to discard food compared to Gen Xs and Baby Boomers.
  • 90% of contributed food waste is leftover dinner and takeaways.
  • Overbuying at supermarkets constitutes a significant contributor, accounting for a staggering 46.2% of household food waste.
  • 89.7% of New Zealand households believe that individuals have a responsibility to reduce food waste.
  • 89.5% of New Zealand households are interested in learning how to best make use of their leftover food.
  • ‘Singles’ and ‘couples’ tend to waste less food than ‘flatties’ and ‘families.’
  • ‘Flatties’ stand out as the largest contributors to food waste, while ‘singles’ discard the least.
  • ‘Families’ are particularly prone to discarding edible leftover dinners.
  • The increasing cost of living has already prompted 85.9% of households to take proactive steps in reducing their food waste.

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