Summer Sundays are known for lazy days by the pool and hanging out with friends. However, according to new research conducted on Kiwi food waste habits, it's also the day when 39.8 percent of New Zealanders are most likely to dispose of perfectly edible food and leftovers.
To address this concerning trend, Best Foods has launched ‘Second Chance Sundays,’ an initiative to educate and engage Kiwis, showing them how to turn their waste into taste.
Interestingly, the research highlighted that leftovers are the 'food' most frequently discarded at 60.8 percent, with soggy salad ingredients following closely behind at 58.9 percent. This trend was seen across all the different types of households surveyed, which included 'singles,' 'couples,' 'families,' and 'flatties.'
When probing the reasons behind this food wastage, respondents pointed to overbuying at supermarkets (46.2 percent) and a shortage of time for cooking and repurposing leftovers (39.2 percent) as the primary culprits.
To help combat this issue, Best Foods has enlisted the expertise of MasterChef finalist Elliot McClymont, who has crafted a collection of valuable tips and tricks to show how leftovers can be transformed into delicious dishes. By highlighting just how easy it can be to give leftovers a second chance, Best Foods aims to instil better habits and reduce food waste in New Zealand.
"I've witnessed how minor adjustments to our food approach can significantly impact. 'Second Chance Sundays' are about empowering Kiwis to be more mindful and resourceful in the kitchen," said McClymont.
Food waste is a recurring problem in Kiwi households, with some families tossing perfectly edible food away as often as twice a week. Interestingly, there are notable generational differences, with Gen Zs and Millennials displaying a much higher tendency to discard food than Gen Xs and Baby Boomers.
Nabomita Bagchi, Brand Manager at Best Foods, Unilever International, emphasised that reducing food waste was everyone’s responsibility.
“We can all do better. We've created Second Chance Sundays to encourage Kiwis to consider what's in their fridge and how it can be used before disposal. If everyone reduces their food waste on Sundays, we will make significant progress," said Bagchi.
In addition to the Second Chance Sundays campaign, Best Foods is furthering its commitment to sustainability by transitioning its jars to recycled plastic.
"Some of our new jars are already on the shelves, and we hope that by Q1 2024, all our jars will be made from recycled plastic.”
This Sunday, Best Foods encourages all Kiwis to get behind Second Chance Sundays and give their food a second chance.
“Cooking doesn't have to be complicated; using what you have can lead to more taste and less waste,” concluded McClymont.
Research findings revealed that 55 percent of Kiwis throw away edible food at least weekly, and 90 percent of this food waste is leftover dinner and takeaways. These findings also revealed that overbuying at supermarkets significantly contributes to household food waste at 46.2 percent.
Furthermore, 89.7 percent of New Zealand households believe people are responsible for reducing food waste, with 89.5 percent interested in learning how to use their leftover foods better.