Europe’s largest home electronics manufacturer, Grundig, has renewed its commitment to reduce global food waste, launching the second phase of its Respect Food initiative with a manifesto film underlining the seriousness of the food waste problem. The announcement follows the release of new research revealing that 90 percent of consumers want to lead more sustainable lifestyles and reduce food waste, but lack the time and means to make the change happen.
“Sustainability is, first of all, a social responsibility and at the very heart of our business. As an industry that shapes household consumption behavior, we are responsible for developing effective solutions to protect the world’s limited resources, like water, energy and help reduce food waste globally,” said Zeynep Özbil, Global Head of Communications at Arçelik Group, Grundig’s parent company.
“At Grundig, it’s all about enhancing people’s lives through projects that can make a real difference. Grundig has a strong belief for respecting food and we know that wasting food is wasting life. Food waste is our new focus and in line with our Respect Food philosophy and our commitment to being a sustainable brand.”
The company has partnered with Food for Soul, a nonprofit organization founded by chef Massimo Bottura that focuses on fighting food waste in support of social inclusion and individual well-being, to push its food waste message. Over the past year, the two organizations have diverted 25 tons of food from landfill, established four community kitchen projects and served over 48,300 dishes. Through food-centered programming each of the kitchen projects, or Refettorios, raises awareness of food waste and equips communities with the knowledge and skills to create delicious meals from soon-to-be-wasted food.
“In today’s fast paced world, overconsumption and lack of day to day control are affecting consumer behavior. It is clear that while consumers desire to protect the environment and reduce food waste, many lack the means, time, tools or clear direction to do so. It is critically important that consumers recognize the need to form sustainable habits and are given the tools and opportunities to do so,” said consumer psychologist Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos.
According to the research, a third of European consumers waste over four kilograms of food per month despite two thirds of consumers considering food waste a significant environmental issue. The study also revealed that 64 percent of respondents feel that a global food shortage is likely to occur in the next 50 years if food continues to be consumed at the current rate.
42 percent of the under-35 population admitted to throwing away more than a kilo of food a week, compared to only 17 percent of the over-50 segment of the population. When asked what food they were most likely to waste, respondents listed fruit (51 percent), vegetables (52 percent), bread (38 percent) and dairy (17 percent).
Consumers with children named additional motives for reducing food waste, including teaching their children to be responsible with money and respecting the environment.
Country-specific findings found Germans to waste the least food out of all the countries surveyed, with 73 percent of respondents wasting less than one kilo of food per week; while Turkish respondents (71 percent) were the most concerned about the amount of food they waste, as opposed to an average of 54 percent across all other countries.
“Grundig commissioned this research study in order to further explore consumers’ attitudes to food waste and sustainability… Grundig’s research showed that consumers have a strong desire to become more sustainable and many consumers are trying to do this: 82 percent are doing some form of recycling, 75 percent aim to conserve energy and 74 percent say they are trying to reduce food waste. However, there is clearly a need and a desire to do much more to reduce overall energy consumption and environmental impact and it is clear that consumers need convenient, simple and smart ways to reduce their environmental impact and eliminate food waste,” Özbil said.