Love Food Hate Waste Social research update 2009 - 2012 EPA12/0947.

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  • Love Food Hate Waste Social research update 2009 - 2012

    EPA12/0947

  • Introduction to the researchThe following slides highlight the results of quantitative research conducted by the EPA in 2009 and 2012.

    A benchmark study (prior to the launch of the program) was completed in 2009 and a follow up tracking study in 2012.

    The research was conducted with 1,200 NSW residents representative of the NSW population by age, gender and location.

  • Concern about food wasteFrom 2009 2012 there has been: Increase in the level of concern about the issue of food waste. Increase in people who identified food as the largest component of the garbage bin.Decrease in people indicating they buy food that gets thrown away before being eaten Decrease in people claiming to throw out more and much more food than they should.With the increase in concern about food waste it is very timely to continue to deliver local LFHW projects and to leverage this concern by providing the community with tangible actions and solutions to the problem.

  • Buy it: Planning and shoppingHouseholders are inclined to state that they rarely find food that was purchased that didn't get used yet:- there is mixed use of menu planning and shopping lists and- low levels of consideration of amounts that will be used when out shopping.Food left in the fridge and freezer is the number one reason cited for food waste. Two thirds claim to check what is in the house prior to shopping as well as date labels in storeFor our programs, we need to continue to focus our efforts on the planning messages and the benefits of meal planning to avoid food waste.

  • Buy it: Planning and shopping

    35%42%53%57%66%68%Note: Percentage refers to the total number of respondents who reported to do this behaviour regularly.

    Chart2

    2642

    2838

    1938

    1934

    1131

    926

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet1

    Planning behaviours

    AlwaysMost times% Total 'regularly'

    Check what food is already in the house2012264268

    2009283866

    Write a list and stick to it as much as possible2012193857

    2009193453

    Plan meals to be cooked in the next few days2012113142

    200992635

    AlwaysMost times% Total 'regularly'

    Check what food is already in the house2012264268%

    2009283866%

    Write a list and stick to it as much as possible20121938575%

    2009193453%

    Plan meals to be cooked in the next few days2012113142%

    200992635%

    Sheet1

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet2

    Sheet3

  • Buy it: Planning and shopping

    Note: Percentage refers to the total number of respondents who reported to do this behaviour regularly. 18%66%66%18%18% 66%42%39%46%43% 66%

    Chart1

    3333

    3531

    1132

    1234

    732

    1032

    315

    414

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet1

    Planning behaviours

    AlwaysMost times% Total 'regularly'

    Check what food is already in the house2012264268

    2009283866

    Write a list and stick to it as much as possible2012193857

    2009193453

    Plan meals to be cooked in the next few days2012113142

    200992635

    Planning and shopping cont

    AlwaysMost times

    Check use by and best before dates in store20123333

    20093531

    Buy food according to a set budget20121132

    20091234

    Buy food based on what is on special (incl. 2 for 1 deals)2012732

    20091032

    Buy items in bulk2012315

    2009414

    Preparation and cooking

    AlwaysMost times

    Consider portion sizes and only make as much as you need2012838

    2009838

    Make extra for a future 'planned' meal2012626

    2009325

    Make extra 'just in case' it is needed2012215

    2009218

    Storage

    AlwaysMost times

    Save leftovers in the fridge and consume later20121547

    20091042

    Save leftovers in the freezer and consume later2012425

    2009630

    Dispose of leftovers immediately after a meal201227

    200938

    Save leftovers in the fridge and throw out later201217

    200919

    Save leftovers in the freezer and throw out later201215

    200908

    Sheet1

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet2

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet3

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    Always

    Most times

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    00

    Always

    Most times

  • Cook it: Preparation and cooking Consideration of portion sizes has remained consistent over time Making extra for a planned future meal has increased Making extra just in case has decreased Through retaining food preparation and cooking messages in our programs along with useful tools e.g. serving size calculator and spaghetti measurer we will continue to see improvements in these behaviours.

  • Cook it: Preparation and cooking

    Note: Percentage refers to the of the total number of respondents who reported to do this behaviour regularly. 20%17%28%32%47%47%

    Chart8

    838

    838

    626

    325

    215

    218

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet1

    Planning behaviours

    AlwaysMost times% Total 'regularly'

    Check what food is already in the house2012264268

    2009283866

    Write a list and stick to it as much as possible2012193857

    2009193453

    Plan meals to be cooked in the next few days2012113142

    200992635

    Planning and shopping cont

    AlwaysMost times

    Check use by and best before dates in store20123333

    20093531

    Buy food according to a set budget20121132

    20091234

    Buy food based on what is one special (inlc. 2 for 1 deals)2012739

    20091032

    Buy items in bilk2012315

    2009414

    Preparation and cooking

    AlwaysMost times

    Consider portion sizes and only make as much as you need2012838

    2009838

    Make extra for a future 'planned' meal2012626

    2009325

    Make extra 'just in case' it is needed2012215

    2009218

    Sheet1

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet2

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet3

    Always

    Most times

  • Save it: Storage Increase in the number of respondents saving leftovers in the fridge and consuming them Decrease in the number of respondents disposing leftovers immediately after a meal Decrease in the number of respondents who save leftovers in the fridge or freezer and then throw them outWhile very simple, integrating messages about remembering to take leftovers to work/school for lunch the next day is a great way to keep food out of the bin.

  • Save it: Storage

    Note: Percentage refers to the total number of respondents who reported to do this behaviour regularly. 62%8%6%10%8%11%9%36%30%52%62%

    Chart2

    1547

    1042

    425

    630

    27

    38

    17

    19

    15

    08

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet1

    Planning behaviours

    AlwaysMost times% Total 'regularly'

    Check what food is already in the house2012264268

    2009283866

    Write a list and stick to it as much as possible2012193857

    2009193453

    Plan meals to be cooked in the next few days2012113142

    200992635

    Planning and shopping cont

    AlwaysMost times

    Check use by and best before dates in store20123333

    20093531

    Buy food according to a set budget20121132

    20091234

    Buy food based on what is on special (incl. 2 for 1 deals)2012732

    20091032

    Buy items in bulk2012315

    2009414

    Preparation and cooking

    AlwaysMost times

    Consider portion sizes and only make as much as you need2012838

    2009838

    Make extra for a future 'planned' meal2012626

    2009325

    Make extra 'just in case' it is needed2012215

    2009218

    Storage

    AlwaysMost times

    Save leftovers in the fridge and consume later20121547

    20091042

    Save leftovers in the freezer and consume later2012425

    2009630

    Dispose of leftovers immediately after a meal201227

    200938

    Save leftovers in the fridge and throw out later201217

    200919

    Save leftovers in the freezer and throw out later201215

    200908

    Sheet1

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet2

    Always

    Most times

    Sheet3

    Always

    Most times

    Always

    Most times

  • Financial impact of food waste

    In 2012, respondents estimated that they throw away:

    $12.24 fresh food$9.57 leftovers$9.28 packaged and long life$8.84 drinks$8.09 frozen food$7.88 take away

    TOTAL: $56.00 per week (2012) $19.90 per week (2009).

    Increased awareness of the issue may have resulted in more accurate estimations. Rising food prices may also have contributed to the significant increase in value wasted.

  • Reach and recall

    Consistent recognition of LFHW brand Significant increase in recognition of the LFHW logo Apple continues to be the most recalled promotional material Almost one in two people who were exposed to the program claimed it motivated them very much or quite a bit to avoid food waste.People continue to be motivated by the environment and to save money

  • Segment: Food LoversFood Lovers are individuals who have registered to receive the LFHW newsletter. Food lovers are predominately female, live in Sydney followed by a large country town and 25-54 yrs. Compared to the general population, Food Lovers: Have a greater awareness and concern about environmental issues Have a greater knowledge of the issue of food waste and the environmental impacts Are more likely to admit to wasting food yet waste significantly less financially compared to the general populationThese results reinforce the value of recruiting food lovers and the benefits of ongoing engagement through the e-newsletter and special email communications.

  • Segment: PlannersPlanners are more likely than non-planners to always or most times:- write a list, check what already in the fridge/freezer/cupboard, check date labels, buy food according to a set budget, buy items in bulk, consider serving sizes and save leftovers in the fridge and consume them afterwardsHave a lower average value of food wastage per week than non-planners.Apart from just planning their meals in advance, planners also implement a lot of other key behaviours which avoid food waste because they are thinking ahead.The greatest gains that can be made will be by encouraging those that are doing these behaviours sometimes to do them most times or always. Encouraging the uptake of planning behaviours will have huge benefits for household budgets and the reduction of food waste.

  • Segment: Young consumersHigher than average knowledge about the issue of food waste yet do not demonstrate food waste avoidance behavioursLess likely to buy food according to a set budget or to consider serving sizesWasting $88.69 per household per week compared to $56.00 for the general populationOverall, higher recognition of LFHW materials

  • Segment: Families with children One in two families with children admits to wasting food High proportion admit to throwing out more and much more than they should Contributing factors to food wastage for families with children can be identified at various stages:- 47% always or most times buy food that is on special- 25% say family members do not finish their meals- Cite cooking too much as the key reason for food waste.

  • Segment: Rural and regional NSWThose living in a large country town are more likely:- to agree it is easy to make meals from assorted ingredients that needusing up- to check what food is already in the house before shopping- to estimate significantly lower value of food wastage, $44.90 on average per week compared to $56 for general population.

    Those living in small country towns are significantly:- more likely to always or most times buy food according to a budget- wasting less money on food waste, $39.97 compared to $56 for general population.

    Those living in country rural areas are:- more likely to report wasting very little or no food- more likely to disagree with the statement that busy lifestyles make it hard to avoid food waste.

  • Segment: CALD communitiesConcerned about the health effects of pollution and high agreement that wasting food contributes to climate changeMore likely to:- correctly identify food as the largest component of the average bin- estimate higher annual values of food waste- make extra just in case- store leftovers in the freezer only to throw them out later.

    Less likely to:- always or most times write a list and stick to it- plan meals to be cooked in the next few days- understand the meaning of best before dates.

  • For your projects Continue to build awareness and understanding of the issue of food waste avoidance and develop supporting skills to take action particularly in regard to planning behaviours. Continue to use the LFHW messages and resources to engage with the community and raise the profile of the issue. Of those who have seen the LFHW materials, 1 in 2 were at least motivated to think about the issue, and are taking some form of action. Leverage the increase in concern about the issue of food waste and ongoing media attention. Design your projects to meet the needs of the identified target audiences. Encourage community members to register as Food Lovers. Recruitment of new food lovers and the retention of existing food lovers is an excellent strategy to ensure on going engagement and to re-enforce food waste avoidance behaviours.

    Presenter to introduce themselves and their work with LFHWThis presentation focuses on the social research results over the 3 year delivery of the program. Well look at changes in awareness, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours and the implications of this on project design and delivery.

    As a brief introduction, initially the NSW Government drew upon the extensive work of WRAP in the UK to gain an understanding of community, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours and the using this research as a guide, implemented our own research to ensure that our program was relevant for the NSW community.

    OEH commissioned two sets of social research in 2009 to inform the development of the Love Food Hate Waste program. The first was a qualitative study with four focus groups with different types of households in different areas of NSW which aimed to map out community knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. Through the focus groups, the creative concepts and key messages for the program were also tested and explored.

    The second was a quantitative benchmark study completed by 1,200 NSW residents, aged 16 years and older, who were mainly or equally responsible for managing food in their household. This research provided reliable and statistically robust data about householders knowledge, attitudes and behaviours around food waste. A key outcome of this research was the identification of the financial value of food being wasted.

    In October 2012, the EPA re-ran the benchmark survey. Key knowledge, attitude and behaviour questions were retained and additional reach and recall questions were included. As a supplement to this survey, the EPA also invited our LFHW Food Lovers to participate as a separate sample. These results provide insights into the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of Food Lovers and how they differ to the general population.

    The next few slides focus on the research results providing a comparison between the benchmark study, done in 2009 before the program launched and the 2012 tracking survey. What we have highlighted in the following slides are not only the general results but also results that relate to our key target audience. As we go through the results, start thinking about how these relate to your community and how these can help guide your partner and grant projects.

    The results to date highlight and provide evidence that the LFHW resources and messaging are working. Using these resources (that were shown earlier) in the delivery of your grants program can help to make them more successful as well as ensure a strong and consistent message about food waste avoidance across NSW.

    Measuring and tracking changes in awareness and attitudes over time is critical to evaluate the effectiveness of the LFHW program and inform the continued design and delivery of the program. This includes measuring and tracking knowledge around food handling and use, and fundamental attitudes underpinning food waste, food waste myths and waste avoidance strategies. The attitudes that we have towards food waste can influence our behaviours.

    Concern about food waste has increased over time (47% in 2009 to 53% in 2012)Awareness about the quantity of food waste in average household garbage bin has increased with over 1 in 5 answering this question correctly (13% in 2009 to 22% in 2012). This represents a significant increase in awareness over time. Wastage of food continues to emerge as a common wastage behaviour among NSW households. However, it remains significantly lower that the 2009 benchmark results. Reduction in the number of people indicating they buy food that gets thrown away before being eaten (49% in 2009 to 43% in 2012). While food waste was the most common household wastage behaviour indicated (from the options provided) it still attracts a lower level of concern than that associated with the wastage of electricity or interest on credit card purchases. Decrease in people claiming to throw out more and much more food than they should (16% in 2009 and 12% in 2012)Environmental concern about food waste has tracked downwards over time

    Ref: See pages 22-32 of report

    While we are seeing an increase in concern about the issue of food waste, it is very timely to continue to deliver local LFHW projects and to leverage this concern by providing the community with tangible actions/solutions to the problem.

    The LFHW program focuses a lot on planning behaviours e.g. planning your meals, shopping to a list, thinking about what you need while in store because these are the behaviours which can most effectively reduce food waste. Overall, there is still a considerable amount of work to be done on engaging the community in these planning behaviours and what they say they are doing doesnt always align with what they are actually doing. A challenge we are all familiar with. Positively, we have seen small increases in respondents planning meals and writing shopping lists.

    Householders are inclined to state that they rarely find food that was purchased that didn't get used yet:- there is mixed use of menu planning (although this has increased over time. 35% in 2009 to 41% in 2012) and shopping lists (53% in 2009 to 55% in 2012) and- mixed levels of consideration of amounts that will be used when out shopping (66% in 2009 to 68% in 2012). Two thirds claim to check what is in the house prior to shopping as well as date labels in store Ref: page 3 in report

    We have also seen a reduction in householders considering their finances when shopping, both in terms of buying food according to a set budget or based on what is one special. Buying in bulk has remained consistent.

    For our programs, we need to continue to focus our efforts on the planning messages and the benefits of meal planning to avoid food waste.

    We have seen some positive results around food preparation and cooking. Of course another key area when significant reductions in food waste can be made particularly around serving sizes.

    Consideration of portion sizes has remained consistent over time (46% in 2009 to 47% in 2012) Making extra for a planned future meal has increased 28% in 2009 to 32% in 2012)Making extra just in case has decreased (20% in 2009 to 17% in 2012) Retaining these messages in our program along with useful tools e.g. serving size calculator and spaghetti measurer we will continue to see improvement in behaviours.

    Overall, we have also seen some positive results regarding storage. In particular: Increase in the number of respondents saving leftovers in the fridge and consuming them (52% in 2009 to 62% in 2012) Decrease in the number of respondents disposing leftovers immediately after a meal (11% in 2009 to 9% in 2012) Decrease in the number of respondents who save leftovers in the fridge and then throw them out (10% in 2009 to 8% in 2012) Decrease in the number of respondents who save leftovers in the freezer and then throw them out (8% in 2009 to 6% in 2012)

    Ref: Page 53

    While very simple, integrating messages about remembering to take leftovers to work/school for the lunch the next day is a great way to keep food out of the bin.

    The research has showed some very interesting, and complex, results when it comes to identifying the financial value of food wasted. Respondents estimate that $729.00 is wasted on food each year. This estimated value continues to be significantly lower than the actual costed out amounts.

    The financial value of food waste indentified/costed out by respondents has increased. This is believed to be due to the increase in awareness and knowledge about the issue as well as increasing food princes. ($1036 in 2009 to $2912 in 2012).

    In 2012, respondents estimate that they throw away:$12.24 fresh food$9.57 leftovers$9.28 packaged and long life$8.84 drinks$8.09 frozen food$7.88 take awayTOTAL: $56.00 per week.

    Fresh food and leftovers continue to be the food types most commonly wastedThose with the highest monetary valued of food waste:18-24 yr olds $88.69Students $74.92CALD $69.39Wollongong residents $66.51Families with children $64.64

    LFHW Food Lovers were considerably less likely to waste food $38.17

    In the tracking survey we included some questions on the LFHW materials to identify the reach of the LFHW program and to gain an understanding from those people who had seen it, what if any, actions they had taken.

    We started broadly with the general issue of food waste to capture what is going on more broadly and then filtered down to focus specifically on the LFHW brand.

    There is consistent recognition of the LFHW brand in the broader community and encouragingly an increase in the number of respondents who had previously seen the LFHW logo (2% in 2009 and 4% in 2012). Interestingly, CALD respondents were the most likely to have seen the logo.

    Apple continues to be the most recalled promotional material Almost one in two people who were exposed to the program claimed it motivated them very much or quite a bit to avoid food waste. People continue to be motivated by the environment and to save money.

    Given the scope of the program and nature of its delivery these results are good and confirm that the LFHW resources are engaging people in the issue of food waste.

    Food Lovers are members of the community who have registered to receive the LFHW newsletter. From the sample who participated in the survey, they are predominately:FemaleLive in Sydney followed by large country town25-54 yrs

    Food Lovers were included as a separate sample as part of the research to provide insights into the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of Food Lovers and how they differ to the general population.

    Some of the highlights include that Food Lovers have a: Greater awareness and concern about environmental issues (concerned a great deal 54%, compared with 18% of general NSW households), Greater knowledge of the issue of food waste and the environmental impacts (Food Lovers are more likely to agree that energy, water and nutrients that are used to grow, process and transport food are lost if food is purchased but not eaten (86%, compared with 60% of general NSW households) and that wasting food contributes to climate change (83%, compared with 37% of general NSW households)More likely to admit to wasting food (due to higher awareness of the issue 52% compared to 43% general population) yet waste significantly less financially compared to the general population ($38.17 compared to $56.00)

    What these results tell us is the value of recruiting food lovers and the benefits of on going engagement e.g. through the newsletter and special email communications.

    Our planners are those respondents who identified that they plan meals in advance most times or always (CB to double check this!!) We know that planning is the key behaviour to avoiding food waste and thought some insight into what this group does differently would be helpful.

    Planners more likely than non-planners to report having thrown away very little or no food (75% for planners compared to 60% for non-planners)Planners are more likely than non-planners to always or most times:- write a list- check what already in the fridge/freezer/cupboard- check date labels- buy food according to a set budget- buy items in bulk- consider serving sizes- save leftovers in the fridge and consume them afterwards

    High level agreement with the statement it is easy to make meals from ingredients that need using up (75% planners compared to 65% non-planners)

    Lower average value of food wastage per week than non-planners ($51.70 for planners compared to $61.51 for non-planners)

    As you can see, apart from just planning their meals in advance, planners also implement a lot of other key behaviours which avoid food waste because they are thinking ahead. Again, encouraging the uptake of those planning behaviours will have huge benefits on household budgets and the reduction of food waste. The greatest gains that can be made will be by encouraging those that are doing this behaviours sometimes to do them most times or always.

    Young consumers remain a priority target audience for LFHW. Again, this demographic has shown high levels of knowledge about the issue of food waste yet this knowledge is not translating in to action.

    Young consumers are wasting $32.69 more a week than the average. One in two families with children admits to wasting food High proportion admit to throwing out more and much more than they should (20% families with children compared to 12% general population) Contributing factors to food wastage for families with children can be identified at various stages:47% always or most times buy food that is on special25% say family members do not finish their mealsCite cooking too much as the key reason for food waste (12% families with children compared to 9% general population)

    Generally, those living in rural and regional areas are less likely to waste food, with the following specific differences: Those living in a large country town are more likely:- to agree it is easy to make meals from assorted ingredients that need using up- check what food is already in the house before shopping- significantly lower value of food wastage on average per week $44.90 compared to $56 for general population

    Those living in small country towns are significantly:- more likely to always or most times buy food according to a set budget- wasting less money on food waste $39.97 compared to $56 for general population

    Those living in country rural areas are:- more likely to report wasting very little or no food- more likely to disagree with the statement that busy lifestyles make it hard to avoid food waste

    Defined by people who identified speaking a language other than English at home. This group differ to the general population in terms of their food waste knowledge, perceptions and behaviours, as well as their potential to engage with and be influenced by the LFHW program.

    Concerned about the health effects of pollution and higher level of agreement that wasting food contributes to climate change (66% CALD, 60% NSW pop)

    More likely to:- correctly identify food as the largest component of the average bin (35% CALD, 22% NSW pop)- estimate higher annual values of food waste (23% CALD, 14 % NSW pop)- make extra just in case (25% CALD, 18% NSW pop)- store leftovers in the freezer only to throw them out later

    Less likely to:- always or most times write a list and stick to it (43% CALD, 55% NSW pop)- plan meals to be cooked in the next few days (34% CALD, 41% NSW pop)- understand the meaning of best before dates

    This year, the EPA through LFHW will be working closely with the Ethnic Communities Council to deliver a range of LFHW projects within CALD communities.

    All of this research is really about helping us to better understand the broader context in which our projects are delivered and the needs, motivators and barriers of our target audiences. This all helps to ensure that we are delivering engaging and tailored projects within our communities.

    From the research, our recommendations for project design and implementation include: We need to continue to build awareness and understanding of the issue of food waste avoidance and develop supporting skills to take action particularly in regard to planning behaviours. The planning behaviours are those that will have the greatest effect in reducing food waste.

    Continue to use the LFHW messages and resources to engage with the community and raise the profile of the issueUsing these resources in the delivery of your program can help to make them more successful as well as ensure a strong and consistent message about food waste avoidance across NSW. Of those who have seen the LFHW materials, 1 in 2 were at least motivated to think about the issue if not take some form of action.

    Leverage the increase in concern about the issue of food waste and on-going media attentionThe community has increasingly expressed concern about the issue of food waste while concern about general environmental problems has decreased. Focus your messaging specially around food waste.

    Design your programs to meet the needs of the identified target audiences

    Encourage community members to register as Food LoversThe results we have seen from the Food Lovers are extremely positive. Recruitment of new food lovers and the retention of exciting food lovers is an excellent strategy to ensure on going engagement and to re-enforce food waste avoidance behaviours.

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