A recent trial carried out by British supermarket Tesco and environmental charity Hubbub saw a 76% decrease in household food waste with the households also reporting to have saved £16.50 per week by taking part.


The ‘No Time For Waste’ Challenge

During a 6-week period in the summer, 53 different households from around the UK were encouraged to implement food-waste preventative measures within their consumption behaviors to see how this affects their levels of household food waste and their bank accounts. When taking on the challenge, households were given access to a whole host of tips and tricks covering areas such as meal planning, food storage, batch cooking, eating all the food you buy and using leftovers. Click here for more suggestions on how you can reduce your food waste.

Between the beginning and the end of the challenge, the results showed that households cut three quarters of their food waste due to the new habits they introduced. They also reported that, as a consequence, the households saved a significant amount on their food bill; the potential equivalent of £858 per year. It was also found that 94% of the households said that they had continued to waste less food after the trial had finished.


Key learnings

This challenge has shown that significant progress can be made in the reduction of food waste with this kind of approach. Hubbub, a key partner in this trial, summarized the key learnings into 5 points:

  • ‘Bridging the gap’ – Informing and educating the public about the best ways of managing food at home can lead to significant positive changes.
  • ‘Community is crucial’ – Using social media as a centre-point for communal actions against food waste allows participants to share progress and information, enhancing enthusiasm and motivation and therefore effectiveness.
  • ‘Small incentives go a long way’ – Rewarding participants with awards and prizes for challenge completion and encouraging healthy competition can help to motivate consumers to maintain their efforts.
  • ‘Flexibility is key’ – Allowing consumers to plan changes to their household food management in their own time and around their own lifestyles proves to be more effective.
  • ‘It’s all in the tone’ – The content used to communicate actions against food waste is found to generate the best reaction when it is done so in an informal, positive and humorous manner.


Now that the pilot is completed, Tesco has continued the No Time For Waste challenge. You can join the fight against household food waste and get access to planners, videos, quizzes, recipes and much more here.