Background

Love Food Hate Waste has put the problem of food waste on the map, driving a 21% reduction between 2007 and 2012.  We helped them develop their next phase of work, moving away from generic campaigns to a more personalised vision of what people could do.

Insight

Every day in the UK, 4.4 million apples get thrown away.

Shocking statistics like this one (from 2008) make headlines and have played a major role in putting food waste on the agenda.  However, the impact of shock tactics decreases over time and it’s easy for people to edit themselves out of the problem by blaming others.

Wasting food is unlike many other behaviours in that no-one intends to do it.  It’s the unintended consequence of a range of often well intentioned behaviours (for example buying lots of vegetables in order to eat more healthily).  And by the time the food’s been wasted (for instance because it’s gone off) it’s too late to act.

Intervention

In order to tackle food waste, we need people to realise that there are things they personally do that contribute to it.  We need them to work out what those things are and we also need them to have strategies available to do things differently.

This means a move away from generic campaigning on issues like leftovers (which apply to some people but not others) to a more personalised approach which allows people to diagnose their own food waste habits and get help in changing them

Implementation

We worked with the Love Food Hate Waste team to develop their strategy and messaging and launch a new ‘Do one thing differently’ campaign, which encouraged people to work out the small changes they could make to their personal habits to reduce the amount of food they were wasting.

We also led the development of an online tool ‘Your Food Waste Assistant’ which asks just two simple questions about the food you are wasting in order to provide specific advice on how to avoid doing it next time.

Impact

Our new behaviourally led approach is central to Love Food Hate Waste’s strategy going forward and now WRAP has become an independent charity there are significant opportunities for them to strengthen their campaigning efforts.

Our work to develop ‘Your Food Waste Assistant’ means that for the first time Love Food Hate Waste have a database of over 600 foods and the strategies that can be used for each one to avoid wasting it.

 

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