Freezers have become “graveyards” of unwanted foods for younger shoppers, according to the latest consumer research from IGD ShopperVista.
The survey, which was investigating food waste, discovered that 18-34-year-olds were twice as likely to dislike food stored in the freezer than over-35-year-olds. Many of the younger age group only used the freezer to store meat with a close use-by date and “unwanted food gifts”. Many considered food in their freezer an “insurance policy” for when no better options are available.
The survey, of over 4,000 British adults, also revealed modern cooking trends. For both age groups, half of those questioned used their freezer for frozen-bought food as opposed to home-made leftovers. Yet it seems for the younger group, which represented only those who live away from home and do not have children, whatever is in their freezer is unappealing.
The findings come as part of research and training charity IGD’s ‘Working on Waste’ campaign. The campaign, in collaboration with Waste & Resources Action Programme, is tackling food waste by changing attitudes towards leftover foods and use-by dates.
“In its first year, Working on Waste will reach around 650,000 employees in one month through meal planning advice, top tips, what to do with leftovers and much more,” said IGD chief executive, Joanne Denney-Finch.
“As an industry, we employ 3.6 million people and it is these employees that will form the bedrock of our campaign, taking learnings from their company into their households. A lot of progress has been made already by companies across the industry to help consumers reduce household food waste. However, seven million tonnes of food and drink is still being thrown away by UK homes every year.”
The survey also found that the 18-34-year-olds struggled with organising and storing food, compared with the older group. Despite not being fans of frozen food, a quarter of 18-34-year-olds feel they have insufficient room in the freezer. Only 14% of over-35s also felt this to be an issue.