Many shoppers are very committed to becoming waste free. Recent IGD research
found that almost seven in ten shoppers want to become a zero waste household,
with half of them already claiming to be recycling, composting or reusing all
the food leftovers and packaging that they can (source: IGD’s Shopping Trends
for the Future – Learning from Trailblazers, Oct 2010).
Industry is also demonstrating a strong commitment to waste reduction. Phase
1 of the Courtauld Commitment has successfully designed out packaging waste
growth, and reduced food waste by 270,000 tonnes per year, far exceeding the
155,000 tonne target (source: WRAP, 23 Sep 2010).
Despite this progress, big challenges remain. The total amount of packaging
waste has not reduced, remaining at approximately 2.9 million tonnes per year.
It’s also estimated that the typical household can save £480 per year by
reducing food waste (source: WRAP, 19 Aug 2010). What can food and grocery
companies do to activate more shoppers towards meeting these challenges?
While many shoppers are behind the drive to reduce waste from their food and
groceries, not least as a sensible strategy in these straightened times, there
are many other aspects of environmental sustainability to engage shoppers with;
from biodiversity to biodegradability, and from carbon footprints to water
footprints. So, how can grocery companies engage shoppers with these varied
With the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference of 2009 a fading memory, and
the Cancun summit at the end of last year not capturing the same attention, how
are eco-attitudes evolving, and what does this mean for retailers and
manufacturers in the food and grocery industry?