GLOBAL- In a recent study conducted by Kerry Group, a global food and beverage company, a growing trend among consumers shows an increased willingness to switch to products and brands that offer extended shelf life. 

The findings of this study have gained prominence as the world marked the United Nations’ International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, emphasizing the critical need to reduce food waste globally.

The study revealed a notable shift in consumer behavior, with approximately one-third of participants expressing an openness to transitioning to products that provide a longer shelf life. 

This shift is primarily motivated by a strong desire to combat food waste, as an overwhelming 98% of survey respondents actively attempt to minimize food wastage due to factors like financial concerns, environmental considerations, and awareness of world hunger.

Consumer concern for food waste has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic and has further augmented with the more recent cost of living crises. Consumers are highly motivated to change their behaviors to reduce food waste, driven firstly by a desire to save money and secondly by a concern for the environment,” Bert de Vegt, Global VP of Food Protection and Preservation at Kerry stated.

The study also shed light on the rising awareness and acceptance of preservatives, both natural and conventional, as viable solutions to combat food waste. 

Furthermore, the study disclosed that consumers in France and Brazil were among the most proactive and conscientious in addressing food waste, displaying high levels of concern and taking proactive measures. 

On the other hand, consumers in Mexico and South Africa were motivated to reduce food waste out of a sense of guilt over people going hungry.

However, the study identified room for improvement in the United States, where consumers expressed substantial concern about food waste but exhibited a comparatively low score for proactive behavior. 

This highlights the pressing need for education and awareness campaigns to encourage active consumer involvement in addressing food waste.

Moreover, a significant 69% of consumers conveyed a preference for purchasing products specifically formulated to reduce food waste, presenting a considerable opportunity for the food industry to innovate and develop products aligning with evolving consumer expectations.

In alignment with the UN’s International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, Kerry’s research findings underscored the urgent need for the food industry to take decisive actions to reduce food waste and extend product shelf life wherever possible. 

De Vegt stressed that with ongoing inflationary pressures, preventing products from going to waste has become more crucial than ever, emphasizing the need for collective efforts to mitigate food waste and its far-reaching impacts.