People are starting to pay attention to food waste. We are living in a time where concern for the environment and the well-being of others is at an all-time high, and evidence shows that there is a wake up call around food waste—particularly at the supermarket level.
Until recently, supermarkets around the world reportedly tossed a large amount of perfectly edible food. When you realize that, according to estimates, about one third of the food produced in the world goes to waste, it’s easy to see how it happens. So it’s interesting to see that supermarkets are beginning to spearhead waste cutting efforts by selling less attractive produce and launching green corporate partnership initiatives to cut food waste. In other words, they are embracing the “ugly fruit” of the world.
Walmart, Albertsons, ConAgra, and General Mills, along with 249 other companies, have signed on to an initiative in which they pledge to cut food waste by 50% by 2030. In addition to the efforts by corporate partnerships, a greater number of restaurants and individuals around the world are also pro-actively fighting waste by developing new kinds of recycling and upcycling efforts, waste free cookbooks, and new recipes using food waste.
On the surface, these efforts seem to be geared toward simply protecting the environment. However, our analysis proves there is a deeper psychological driver—a drive to protect those within the environment. Preserving the planet means preserving its people. The amount of food wasted on Earth could potentially end world hunger if everyone worked together to re-purpose it.
Protecting the planet is now a priority for consumers when purchasing items at the store or online. Savvy businesses will realize the multiple benefits to be found from joining in on the food waste initiatives. We’re seeing it show up more and more—and we continue to see where it goes.