Almost half of consumers admit they do not understand how to handle current labelling on packaging, claims a recent survey report, diving into consumers’ understanding of current food labelling systems and their impact on food waste.
According to a report by HelloFresh SE, as many as four in five Brits (82 per cent) are taking active steps to reduce food waste in their homes though 46 per cent don’t clearly understand current labelling. Over half of Brits (52 per cent) fear that when food is past its written expiration date, it is bad for their health and might make them sick.
Every fifth person is throwing food away because they’re following the expiration date – regardless of the quality (28.6 per cent). On average, over a third of Brits are throwing away food at least once a week (39 per cent) compared to just 17 per cent in France and 19 per cent in Germany.
As many as 59 per cent of consumers agree that the current labelling system is confusing and within this, four in five (80 per cent) say the system is outdated and there should be an innovative solution. Three quarters (79 per cent) of those surveyed believe that it is up to policy makers to find ways to minimise food waste, states the report by HelloFresh.
The often misunderstood “Best Before” and “Use By” expiration dates lead many consumers to dispose of supposedly spoiled food.
Two in three (66 per cent) Brits said they wish they knew more about how not to waste food due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Almost half of those surveyed (48 per cent) estimate that they are throwing away £260 worth of food every year as a result of BBE labelling with almost one in five (16 per cent) estimating as much as £520.
HelloFresh UK CEO, Adam Park says, “A core component of our mission to change how people eat for the better is helping customers reduce food waste while delivering the fresh, delicious meals they expect from HelloFresh. The time temperature indicators meet the highest safety standards and can help us eat more sustainably, without compromising on flavour.
“The UK has an opportunity to be a leader in supporting innovative technologies like these, and we look forward to introducing these indicators on our fish as soon as we receive regulatory approval. Implementing these indicators would not only benefit our customers, but also help the planet.”
Reducing food waste remains an integral part of HelloFresh’s sustainability approach. Between Q1 2022 and Q2 2023, the business increased its food donations by 232 per cent and decreased its waste generation by 68 per cent.