Frozen Food Reduces Waste, Says European Producer

Iglo Group, Europe’s largest frozen food company, has launched a coalition with leading waste reduction charity WRAP with the objective of reducing food waste across Europe.

The coalition is launching iFreeze,  a campaign which will highlight that European households waste an average of €2602 of food every year, and will provide advice and tips on how increased use of both freezing and frozen food can help to reduce waste and save money. The campaign is part of Iglo Group’s Forever Food Together (FFT) programme, launched in October 2014.

Birds Eye, Iglo Group’s UK brand, will be the first market to launch the campaign in April, supported by WRAP, Hotpoint, a leading brand of large home appliances, and the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF). The Group’s other leading food brands Findus (Italy only) and Iglo elsewhere in Europe will launch education campaigns across 2015.

The need for this new partnership is demonstrated by research undertaken by Iglo Group, which shows that 1 in 5 people throw away food because they’ve prepared, cooked or served too much (22%), or because they feel it has gone past its best (20%). The research also found that consumers believe existing food labels are confusing. Over 71% of consumers think that throwing away food which has passed its ‘best-before’ date is wasteful. Meanwhile, only 33% of people considered food that had passed its ‘use-by’ date to be waste.

Iglo Group’s research also found that 50% of people don’t think they are wasting food if they throw away a sprouting potato. In addition only 24% would consider a cup of tea to count towards the food they throw away. WRAP’s research1 found a similar situation, highlighting the 5.8 million potatoes discarded each day in the UK, and finding that drinks comprise 17% of total food waste. This suggests people are unknowingly wasting food.

The results of Iglo Group’s research demonstrate that further education is required to encourage consumers to store and freeze food rather than throw it away. The Group will provide information through TV and print advertising, online tips and on-pack advice. Across 2015, the company plans to invest over €5m in iFreeze and will contribute to the Forever Food Together goal to inform consumers on at least one billion occasions by the end of 2020.

Iglo Group’s ’s research also found that over half of consumers think businesses should work with charities to address food waste (53%), supporting iFreeze’s partnership approach. Iglo Group will continue to take a collaborative approach and form further partnerships across Europe as it launches in other countries.

Andy Weston-Webb, UK MD, Iglo Group, said:

“Freezing, as a means of preservation, and frozen food both have the potential to play a key role in the fight against food waste and save consumers money. As Europe’s leading frozen food Company, we should and can help educate consumers. Research shows that consumers want businesses to work with other organisations and forming this partnership with WRAP enables us to elevate this message. We’re delighted that Birds Eye is the first Iglo Group brand to launch iFreeze.”

WRAP has been working with Iglo on the iFreeze project using its extensive experience, evidence based results and research on food waste.

Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO, WRAP, said:

“WRAP found that around 850,000 tonnes of good food goes to waste every year from our homes, which could have been eaten later if frozen. That’s throwing away enough food to fill Wembley stadium, food worth more than £3 billion. So it’s crucial to raise awareness and provide information on ways to prevent food waste, and WRAP is delighted to be working with Iglo. This partnership allows us to highlight the important role freezing can play in reducing food waste, and will help support our ambition to halve UK avoidable household food waste by 2025.” 

Alongside Iglo Group and WRAP, Hotpoint (owned by the Whirlpool Corporation), one of Europe’s leading manufacturers and distributors of large home appliances, is a key partner of the campaign. Hotpoint will promote iFreeze in both the UK and other European markets at consumer events such as Ideal Home Show and Good Food Show.

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