Survey Finds Shoppers Are Being Encouraged To Buy Too Much Food

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22nd January 2014 16:50 - Food

According to a new public survey, supermarkets are still encouraging UK shoppers to overbuy food one year on from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ influential report Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not.

Of those polled, seven-in-ten (70%) said supermarkets urged them to increase their food purchasing over the festive season – with almost half (45%) saying they did buy more.

These shoppers said Buy-One-Get-One-Free offers (72%) and half price promotions (70%) were the major ways supermarkets attracted them, with more than a third naming discounts such as vouchers, “money off single items” and loyalty card offers as other rounds to increased buying.

The latest figures suggest that a fifth of people polled wasted or threw away more than a tenth (10%) of the food they purchased over the festive period. More encouragingly however, two-fifths (41%) said they wasted or threw away less than 10% and more than a third said they did not waste or throw away any food.

Dr Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:

"This latest survey shows that UK shoppers still feel they are encouraged to buy too much food, despite significant progress on raising awareness of food waste in 2013… There are various reasons why around a third to a half of all food produced in the world never reaches a human stomach, and while it would be wrong to lay all of the blame for waste with the supermarkets - deals like Buy-One-Get-One-Free, 'half price' offers and various other price discounting methods do exacerbate the problem.

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