Majority Of Consumers Are Concerned About Food Waste From F&B Companies In Singapore [Media Release]
– 90% of consumers are concerned about the food waste generated by F&B companies
– 95% of consumers want F&B companies to do more to reduce food waste
– Consumers are willing to support F&B companies which adopt strategies to reduce food waste
Singapore, 5 Aug 2015 – Majority of consumers are concerned about food waste generated by food and beverage (F&B) companies and would encourage and support the companies to reduce food waste, according to a recent survey conducted to understand consumer attitudes toward food waste generated by the F&B sector in Singapore. The study was conducted from Feb to Apr this year by the students under the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme from the National University of Singapore, in partnership with the new non-profit organisation, Zero Waste SG.
According to the National Environment Agency, about 790,000 tonnes of food waste was generated in Singapore in 2014 and only 13% of this waste is recycled. Consumers can reduce food waste on an individual level, but can also play an important role in advocating for greater efforts and best practices in food waste reduction by the F&B sector. With this premise, the study aims to understand consumers’ attitude towards food waste and how they hope F&B companies (including retail shops selling food; bakeries; cafes; restaurants; food courts; canteens; hawker centres; markets; supermarkets; and caterers) can contribute to the reduction of food waste.
The survey obtained 428 responses and the key findings of the survey are summarised below:
Consumers are concerned about food waste and find it unacceptable for F&B companies to waste food
- 90% of respondents are concerned about the food waste generated in Singapore (agree or strongly agree).
- 90% of respondents are concerned about the food waste generated by F&B companies (agree or strongly agree).
- More than 83% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree that it is acceptable for F&B companies (including bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, food courts, and caterers) to throw away unsold, excess and near-expiry food that is still safe for consumption.
Consumers want F&B companies to do more to reduce food waste and would encourage them to adopt food waste reduction strategies
- 95% agree or strongly agree that F&B companies need to do more to reduce food waste.
- Majority of the respondents stated that they would encourage F&B companies to adopt these food waste reduction strategies: Donate unsold, excess and near-expiry food that is still safe for consumption to the charities (91%); Sell unsold, excess and near-expiry food that is still safe for consumption at a discount (84%).
Consumers would like to know the food waste reduction strategies of these F&B companies
The survey shows that 82% of the respondents would like to know what F&B companies are doing to reduce food wastage, and they would most like to know the food waste reduction strategy of these F&B companies (ranked according to the number of respondents who named the companies; the ranking does not indicate the amount of food waste from the companies):
- NTUC FairPrice (200)
- BreadTalk (159)
- McDonald’s (112)
- Cold Storage (95)
- Giant (61)
- Sheng Siong (58)
- Kopitiam (38)
- Starbucks (31)
- KFC (27)
- Four Leaves (23)
Close to 50% of the respondents named NTUC FairPrice as a company whose food waste reduction strategy would be of interest to them. The second most named company is BreadTalk with 37% of the respondents, and the third company is McDonald’s (26%). Respondents are most interested in how retail supermarkets reduce food waste, with NTUC FairPrice, Cold Storage, Giant and Sheng Siong among the 10 most named companies.
Consumers will support F&B companies which adopt strategies to reduce food waste
The respondents indicated that they are willing to support F&B companies which adopt strategies to reduce food waste by helping them spread the word for their efforts (81%). In addition, 70% of the respondents expressed that they will buy more of the company’s food products or patronise the company’s outlets again, and 67% will continue to do so even if there are competitors.
If a F&B company donates unsold, excess and near expiry food to the charities and needy, the respondents will show support by telling others about the company’s efforts to reduce food waste (86%), or buy more of the company’s food products or patronise the company’s outlets again (70%).
Zero Waste SG will engage F&B companies to reduce food waste
Mr Eugene Tay, Executive Director of Zero Waste SG, said, “The survey clearly shows that the majority of consumers are concerned about food waste in Singapore and want F&B companies to take more action to reduce food waste. Consumers would like to know what supermarkets and companies such as BreadTalk and McDonald’s are doing to reduce food waste. These F&B companies should be proactive in addressing consumer’s interest and in taking action to reduce food wastage. One of the things that F&B companies can do immediately is to donate unsold food to charities such as Food Bank and Food from the Heart. Edible food should not be thrown into the rubbish bins.”
Zero Waste SG has sent the survey report to the top 10 F&B companies mentioned in the survey, and would follow-up with them to find out their food reduction efforts (if any). In addition, Zero Waste SG will encourage the companies to commit to take specific actions to reduce food waste. Mr Tay added, “If the F&B companies take action to reduce food waste, we will be glad to highlight and showcase their good efforts through our website and social media channels. Companies that are responsible and proactive in reducing food wastage deserve our recognition.”
Please refer to the attached survey report for more details.
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About Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme
The Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme (CTPCLP) aims to develop Singapore’s next generation of community leaders. Each year, a small number of NUS undergraduates, majoring in various disciplines, will be admitted into the CTPCLP as fellows. These future leaders will not only be intellectually engaged in social and community issues, they will also have the opportunity to work hand in hand with our partnering social service organizations, social enterprises and government agencies to address social and community challenges in Singapore.
For more info, visit http://www.ctpclp.nus.edu.sg/
About Zero Waste SG
Zero Waste SG is a new not-for-profit organisation and non-governmental organisation dedicated to help Singapore eliminate the concept of waste, and accelerate the shift towards zero waste and the circular economy. We will promote education and engagement on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) among individuals and households; increase waste minimisation and recycling among businesses and organisations; and reduce specific waste.
Zero Waste SG also manages the Save Food Cut Waste campaign, which is a ground-up movement educating individuals, businesses and organisations in Singapore about the environmental and social impacts of food waste, and encouraging everyone to take action in reducing food waste.