Half of all households throw out food every week, according to new research.
The research, which was launched today as part of ALDI’s Food for Good campaign in partnership with FoodCloud, found that food waste is still a challenge for Irish households, despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
Almost half (47%) say that they typically throw food out every week, but the majority of people (65%) are uncomfortable with the amount of food being discarded by their households each week.
According to the study, which was conducted by Coyne Research, food being past its use by date is the most common reason it is thrown out (48%), followed by people not getting around to using it (43%). Over one-third (35%) say they disposed of food because it was past the best before date, while nearly one-in-five (18%) said they simply bought too much.
Fresh food makes up the majority of people’s grocery spending (49%) and is the food most frequently discarded by people. Bread (62%) is the most common item that households throw out each week, followed by fresh vegetables (55%) and fresh fruit (52%). Dairy was next with 31%, while over a quarter of people (27%) threw away fresh meat every week. Just 8% said that they threw away fresh fish.
The research also shows that more than half of people sometimes or always plan their meals. Almost half (49%) say that they are actively taking steps to reduce their food waste by cooking and preparing the food before it goes off to avoid wasting it.
Through its partnership with FoodCloud, ALDI seeks to raise awareness of the ongoing issue of food waste in Irish households, helping to empower more customers to shop efficiently with sustainability in mind. To date, the retailer has donated 2.5 million meals to FoodCloud, equating to a saving of over 1 million kgs of food from going to waste. This also benefits the environment with an equivalent saving of 3.2 million tonnes of CO2.
ALDI is partnering again with FoodCloud on its annual Food for Good campaign. Now in its fifth year, the campaign will run from Friday, 14 October to Monday, 24 October, where ALDI shoppers can buy and donate non-perishable food items at one of the ‘Food for Good’ drop-off points across the retailer’s 153 stores nationwide. All donated food will be collected and donated to local charities by FoodCloud.
Announcing this year’s campaign, ALDI Group Managing Director Niall O’Connor said: “We know that food waste is still a problem, and we are delighted to work with FoodCloud again this year to highlight this important issue and the essential service that FoodCloud provides. By making small changes to how we plan and prepare meals at home, we can all help reduce food waste, which, in turn, will have a bigger impact on the environment and wider society. We’re proud to continue our support of FoodCloud and its excellent work and are asking our customers to help in whatever way they can by donating non-perishable goods at their local ALDI store. Together, we can not only help reduce food waste, but support those in our communities most in need.”
FoodCloud Co-Founder and Partnerships Director Aoibheann O’Brien said: “This study confirms that food waste is a huge problem within Irish households, but reassuringly, people are becoming more aware of it in their homes. We are proud to work with ALDI again on the Food for Good campaign to share the message of food waste reduction. With the ongoing support through our partnership with ALDI, we are ensuring we can continue to provide an essential service to get good food to communities all across the country.”