Food Waste Race

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The Food Waste Race with Just Eat

How often do you have a takeaway? And how often do you have leftovers? In recent years takeaway deliveries have grown massively, and eating more of the takeaway we buy is a simple and pocket friendly step to reduce our environmental impact.

Research from Just Eat and the Sustainable Restaurant Association found that in the UK £1.8bn worth of takeaway food is thrown away annually and of this, £1.4bn comes from households. But we wanted to find out more about what takeaway food is being wasted and why?

So what’s the sitch? Let’s zoom in on the issue!

At Hubbub we’re always hungry to learn, and curiosity plays a big part of all our campaigns. The Food Waste Race insight phase ran for four weeks with 91 participants who filled in four weeks of food diaries (502 diary surveys in total, have that Adrian Mole). They told us about their takeaway habits, how much takeaway goes to waste and barriers to reducing food waste. We found out that:

  1. Huge amounts are being wasted

    On average 16% of each takeaway meal is wasted

  2. Large portion sizes

    53% said that large portion sizes were the main cause of food being leftover

  3. Sides were wasted most

    Chips followed by rice, pizza, meat and curry were the most wasted foods

What did we do?

We teamed up with Just Eat to explore how takeaway customers could be supported to reduce their food waste from takeaways. This resulted in the Food Waste Race, which took place in two stages – an insight phase followed by a behaviour change trial. Participants representing frequent Just Eat customers were recruited to take part.

Participants told us that they didn’t enjoy eating takeaway leftovers and weren’t always sure that it was safe. So, we shared tips and hacks, TikTok style foodie films and set them challenges that put fun and flavour in the spotlight as we inspired them to see their leftovers in a new light with the confidence to eat them safely. 12 weeks after the Food Waste Race, we asked participants which new habits they had kept. They told us:

  • 92% were wasting less takeaway food.
  • 63% reduction in takeaway food wasted.
  • 82% were wasting less food from groceries.
  • 71% were making better choices for the environment in other areas of their lives, for example walking more and using the car less

What difference did we make?

The insights led to three big changes for Just Eat, their partner restaurants and their customers:

  • First, a global food waste busting campaign targeted customers across 14 countries, with food saving tips and inspiration pop-ups when ordering via the app.
  • Second, a sustainability guide was shared with up to 50,000 UK partner restaurants.
  • And finally, clearer guidance was given to restaurants on portion sizes, so customers can make informed choices and waste less food.

Hungry for more?

We do more than food. Ever wondered what to do with your old clothes, or how to make your smartphone last longer?

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