New research from INCPEN has shown that the top 20 food items wasted or reduced-to-clear between the wholesale depot and the retail check-out are fruit, meat and poultry, then vegetables and bakery.
All together, 22,000 tonnes of food worth £43 million is wasted.
Fruit represents 40 per cent of the food waste, with meat and poultry making up another 20 per cent.
The study, Checking Out Food Waste, looks at weight and financial value by product category and product type.
It uses actual data from three major supermarkets who together account for 65 per cent of the UK market, unlike most previous work which has been extrapolated or estimated from small samples.
INCPEN director Jane Bickerstaffe said: “Few packaged products appear in the top 20. It is worth noting that the majority of the high wastage foods are typically sold both loose and pre-packed. It would therefore be worth exploring if packaging more of those sold loose would reduce waste.”
One other finding in the report is that levels of wastage in different retailers are different for the same items, so there may be a clear opportunity for them to learn from each other.
View the full report at: http://www.incpen.org/docs/Checking%20Out%20Food%20Waste.pdf