COVID-19 driving Canadians to waste less food: survey
94% of Canadians are motivated to reduce avoidable food waste
VANCOUVER, BC — A new survey shows that Canadians are wasting less food while COVID-19 public health measures have been in place. Love Food Hate Waste Canada, delivered by the National Zero Waste Council in conjunction with its campaign partners, worked with the Mustel Group to understand how food purchasing, storage, consumption and waste behaviours have changed since the introduction of quarantine and physical distancing measures.
The online survey found that while people are buying more food overall, 24% of households are throwing away or composting less uneaten food and 94% of Canadians are motivated to reduce their household’s avoidable food waste.
Since the introduction of public health measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 63% of Canadians are shopping less often, but are buying more food per trip than before. More households are adopting food-saving habits, especially checking what food is already in the house, freezing foods to extend shelf-life, and getting creative with leftovers.
“This new research confirms that Canadians are thinking about making the most of the food they buy. We know that 84% of Canadians believe that everyone has a responsibility to prevent avoidable food waste in their households,” said Malcolm Brodie, chair of the National Zero Waste Council, in a prepared statement. “We are excited to build on this momentum and support Canadians with the tools, insights, and resources they need to make preventing food waste in the home the new normal.”
Love Food Hate Waste Canada also works with partners like Sobeys Inc., who are responding to these consumer insights by making waste reduction part of their corporate mandate.
“This research shows that our customers are highly motivated to reduce waste, which is why as part of our sustainability strategy, we are on a mission to reduce food waste in our operations by 50% by 2025,” said Vittoria Varalli, vice-president of sustainability at Sobeys Inc. “We are working with partners like Love Food Hate Waste to find innovative solutions to help us reach this goal.”