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Food Waste – The Truth Is Out

Food waste is a top priority here at Ocado. We’re proud we’re at 0.038% food waste across the business, but recognise there’s plenty more we can do. 

We know food waste is also a concern for you, so we looked for ways to help. We started by doing some research, asking our customers to keep a food diary for two weeks. This helped us understand common habits, collate top tips and work out how to be a zero waste hero!

Here’s what we found out from our food waste diary keepers.

Food waste matters to us both

  • 77% of food waste came from your fridge and 14% from your cupboards.
  • Your top wasted products were salad, bread, vegetables and fruit. Most of the time these items had gone off before you could eat them. 
  • 16% of food waste was down to food passing its use by date. 
  • A whopping 90% of you agreed it would be useful if we shared food waste tips and content with you.

Thanks to all our customers who took part – now we know what areas of food wastage we can help you with. We’ll concentrate on fridge food and how to use up or extend the life of your most wasted products. Our food waste diary keepers were also really conscious of use by dates, so we’ll help you debunk myths around use by dates and best before dates. 

We’ve changed our habits since lockdown

With a little thinking, we can all change our habits. Since lockdown began 58% of you said you have wasted less food. We loved hearing your ideas on how to keep that up:

  • Check your cupboards, fridges and freezers before shopping so you know exactly what you need to buy. 
  • Freeze more – leftovers, batch-cooked meals or odds and ends you’ve been making. 
  • Be mindful of storage – keep things in the right place so they stay fresher for longer and move perishable items to the front of your fridge and cupboards. That way you’re more likely to see and use them before they go off.
  • Get creative – challenge yourself to make meals out of what you have. 
  • Adapt recipes – swap out ingredients and use up what you have in the cupboards instead.

Our tips to help you reduce your food waste

Get freezing

Most of the food we waste is fresh. In fact, only 4% of the food wasted from our food waste diary keepers was frozen. That means there’s a huge opportunity to save food and use it at a later date by freezing it instead. There are many clever ways to freeze food – check out our blog post on how to freeze everything, from milk to eggs.

Plan ahead
A well organised kitchen can help you keep food waste to a minimum. Use our receipts to work out use by dates and plan meals ahead with what’s already in your fridge or cupboards. For more tips on how to reduce your waste by getting organised, read our blog post here.

Transform leftovers 

Leftovers can easily end up in the fridge for a week before being thrown out – usually because we don’t know what to do with them. We’ve put together some great ideas to help you turn your leftovers into something new – from delicious tasting snacks to condiments like pesto to chutney. Read our blog post here.

Looking for more food waste tips? We’ll be updating the blog, so don’t forget to check back here soon. 

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