Press Centre

It's in the doggy bag

  • Shoppers waste up to £12 billion a year by throwing away food and drink
  • A third of Britons admit to throwing away leftovers rather than re-using them
  • Average family throws away up to £680 worth of food a year
  • A fifth of Brits give leftovers to the family pet

CASH-STRAPPED Britons are wasting nearly £12 billion a year by throwing out food which could be used in other meals.

The new research on leftovers, commissioned by Asda to mark the launch of the new Simply Roast in the Bag range of Butcher’s Selection chicken, has found that despite more than two thirds (67%) of Britons having left over food at least once a week, nearly a third (30%) admit to throwing these leftovers away rather than re-using them, wasting billions of pounds in the process.

A further 20% of shoppers admit to giving their leftover food to the family pet, equating to over five million doggy bags a year, with the Northern Irish the worst offenders – one in three (33%) Northern Irish pets is the lucky recipient of leftovers after every meal.

Figures from WRAP show that preventing household waste, and making better use of leftovers, could save the average family up to £680 a year (£13 a week) – a whopping £12bn nationwide.

Interestingly, when asked how much money they think they waste each week by throwing away leftovers, 70% of shoppers thought it was £5 or under – less than half the true figure.

When it comes to the worst offenders, more than a third (35%) of people from the midlands always throw away their leftovers, compared to just a quarter (25%) of shoppers from the south.

However, it’s not all bad news: nearly half of Brits (45%) do try to re-use their leftover food in another meal, with a further one in five (21%) using them for packed lunches.

When it comes to what Brits like to re-use, chicken is top of the league with two thirds (66%) of shoppers saying they are most likely to use up their leftover roast chicken, ahead of vegetables (57%), roast beef (47%) and potatoes (46%).

To encourage shoppers to take another look at how they use their leftovers, a series of ‘love your leftovers’ recipes and videos with Jim Viggars, Asda’s head of meat quality, has been created alongside the launch of the new Simply Roast in the Bag range of Butcher’s Selection whole chickens. The clever bag locks in flavour to create the perfect roast chicken: all shoppers need to do is simply pierce the bag once and place it in the oven – no mess, no fuss, just a mouthwatering roast chicken, ready to serve whatever the occasion.

The seven new flavours, including Piri Piri, Extra Tasty and Garlic & Herb, come complete with a recipe idea on each pack for any leftover chicken including a QR code which links to ‘love your leftovers’ recipes, meaning shoppers can easily scan the pack and get the recipe video straight to their phone. From fajitas to risotto and curry there is something to suit all tastes, with minimum cost and maximum flavour. Sales of the new range have been extremely encouraging, up 35% compared to other chicken lines.

Jim Viggars said, “There’s nothing worse than throwing away leftovers, especially when you’ve spent good money buying the food in the first place. Thanks to our new Simply Roast in the Bag Chicken and the leftover recipes which come with it, it’s goodbye to wasted leftovers and hello to another delicious meal – win win. The new range has been in store for just over a week and it’s already going down a storm with our shoppers – delicious roast chicken has never been so easy!”

Emma Marsh, Head of WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste Campaign, said: “While some of us enjoy turning leftovers into tasty new meals, there’s still a massive amount we can do. There are simple steps we can all take, such as making better use of our freezers, to ensure that nothing goes to waste. We’re very pleased to be supporting Asda which is helping its customers to feel more confident in the kitchen and waste less food.”

Butcher’s Selection Simply Roast in the Bag Large Chicken is available in all 500 Asda stores nationwide, priced at £5 each.

Posted in Press Centre on 26 September 2013