Reducing food waste by extending product life

Start date:
June 2013
February 2014
Brook Lyndhurst, along with consortium partners Oakdene Hollins and Leatherhead Food Research, were commissioned by WRAP to deliver this project, "Reducing food waste by extending product life." The project was conceived as a part update to previous work carried out in 2009 and 2011. These 'Retailer' surveys entailed large scale data collection of a wide breadth of information believed to influence food waste - from date labels to packaging types. More information on these projects can be found on both the WRAP website, and our own site.

The focus of this project was specifically on the shelf life of food products, how this is set, and the opportunities for increasing life in order to reduce the amount of food being wasted by consumers. The project was therefore delivered in three Lots:

Lot 1 - An update of WRAP's Retailer Survey, in particular information relating to 'available life';
Lot 2 - Extend WRAP's feasibility study into how product life and open life is set; and
Lot 3 - Determine the scale of the opportunity (business case) for increasing product life, and what this opportunity means in terms of environmental and economic benefits.

Brook Lyndhurst were responsible for the design and delivery of Lot 1 of the project. This involved:
  • Updating / defining the detailed product description list of up to 10 product categories to investigate
  • Defining the sample methodology and store selection
  • Developing the data collection framework and tools
  • Recruitment and training of fieldworkers
  • Completing the fieldwork
  • Analysis and reporting of the results

In total, data relating to available and open life were gathered from over 23,000 products, from 13 stores in four separate locations. The results of this work are being used as both a standalone tool to enable reductions in food waste, and also to inform the work in Lots 2 and 3.



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