Food Waste & Upcycling: Trends & Opportunities in Sustainability

 
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Published Nov 23, 2022 | 124 Pages | Pub ID: LA17532810
Food Waste & Upcycling: Trends & Opportunities in Sustainability

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many products have experienced price increases due to a combination of factors such as high demand, supply issues, and rising labor costs. Packaged Facts’ November 2022 National Online Consumer Survey found that 61% of consumers strongly agree that they are concerned about rising food prices, and for good reason.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), year-over-year inflation in the consumer price index (CPI) for food was 10.9% from October 2021 to October 2022. This is among the highest food inflation rates seen in decades.

As prices have risen across the board, companies operating in the food supply chain and consumers alike have become more motivated to reduce food waste. Wasted food is a source of lost money. Any time food is wasted, someone is paying for it.

Environmental sustainability is another key issue relating to food waste concerns, as food production creates carbon emissions and uses natural resources such as water and land, so anytime food is wasted, resource use intensifies and accelerates climate change. Because food production (particularly animal farming) contributes to climate change, wasted food can be especially harmful to the environment. Rotting food in landfills can also emit methane, which is a major environmental problem.

Consumers may be concerned about how food waste affects the environment and may also be troubled by ethical issues such as wasted food that could have instead been used to feed individuals in poverty. Many companies have sustainability goals to reduce waste and carbon emissions, so they are also motivated to reduce food waste.

With a focus on “what’s next” and current consumer trends, Food Waste & Upcycling: Trends & Opportunities in Sustainability is packed with insights about consumer trends, behavior, and motivations to help foodservice operators, food producers, retailers, packaging companies, employers, and investors gauge consumer perspectives and find areas for growth in a competitive market.

Food Waste & Upcycling: Trends & Opportunities in Sustainability delivers actionable predictions and recommendations designed to guide foodservice operators, producers, retailers, and investors in making business decisions by providing data and insights about consumer behavior and what consumers think about food waste and upcycled ingredients.

Scope

Food Waste & Upcycling: Trends & Opportunities in Sustainability is the go-to source for a complete understanding of U.S. consumer trends regarding food waste and food upcycling. This report combines Packaged Facts’ extensive monitoring of the food and beverage market with proprietary surveys, and evaluates current trends and future directions for marketing and retailing, along with consumer patterns during the pandemic and across the broader food and beverage market.

This Packaged Facts report analyses trends regarding food waste throughout the supply chain and the ways in which consumers view food waste. This report also examines the dynamics of the current landscape of food waste and how it is related to environmental sustainability and upcycling of ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away.

Consumer demographics, perceptions, motivations, and behaviors are examined as pertaining to concerns about food waste and the environment. Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers are also analyzed (in a broad sense), including in the context of food waste and upcycling.

The reasons for and implications of shifts in consumer perception and behavior are analyzed in the context of future market opportunities.

Additionally, Food Waste & Upcycling: Trends & Opportunities in Sustainability has dozens of tables showcasing numerical survey data on consumer demographics and psychographics and numerous marketing photographs. This report goes in-depth on COVID-19 trends affecting the food and beverage market.

Report Methodology

The information contained in Food Waste & Upcycling: Trends & Opportunities in Sustainability was developed from primary and secondary research sources. Primary research includes interviews with food and beverage market experts; participation in and attendance at food industry events; and extensive internet canvassing.

Primary research also includes national online consumer polls of U.S. adult consumers (age 18+) conducted on an ongoing basis by Packaged Facts to analyze attitudes of consumers and their relevant food and beverage preferences.

Survey data from MRI-Simmons are used to analyze the demographics and psychographics of consumers.

Supplementing Packaged Facts’ exclusive survey is analysis of the 2022 Food & Health Survey conducted by the International Food Information Council, which analyzes consumer food purchase decisions and diet and lifestyle choices.

  • Executive Summary
    • Rising Prices and the Cost of Food Waste Are the Main Driver of Food Waste Concerns
    • Sustainability Issues Are Also Key to Increasing Concerns about Food Waste
    • Increasing Shelf Life Is One of the Easiest Ways to Reduce Food Waste
    • Best By, Best Before, and Sell By Labels Have Limitations
    • Upcycled Ingredients Are Also An Important Solution
    • Scope
  • COVID-19 Effects on Consumers
    • Highlights
    • Rising Prices during the Pandemic
      • Table Consumer Concerns about Rising Food Prices, 2021-2022 (percent of consumers)
      • The Vast Majority of Consumers Have Noticed the Rising Cost of Food Over the Past Year, and Many Are Changing Their Purchasing Decisions
      • Cutting Back on Household Expenses
        • Table Consumers Cutting Back on Household Expenses in the Last 12 Months, 2022 (percent of consumers)
        • Table Types of Household Expenses Cut Back on in the Last 12 Months, 2022 (percent of consumers)
    • Concerns about Food Shortages during the Pandemic
      • Table Consumer Concerns about Food Shortages, 2021-2022 (percent of consumers)
    • Increased Use of Food Carryout and Delivery
    • Concerns about COVID-19 Exposure Remain
      • Most Still Consider the Pandemic a Health Threat Personally or to Family/Friends
        • Table Coronavirus Health Concerns: “I am concerned about the…”, 2020-2022 (percent of consumers)
      • Concerns about COVID-19 Variants
    • Negative Personal Effects of the Pandemic
      • Negative Effects Reported in 2020 and 2021
        • Table Coronavirus Concerns: “The coronavirus has negatively affected my…”, 2020-2021 (percent of consumers)
      • Continuing Mental and Physical Health Effects
        • Table Changes in Mental and Physical Symptoms during the Pandemic, 2022 (percent of consumers)
      • Stress Levels and Changes Made to Reduce Stress
    • Effects on Work Have Continued in 2021 and 2022
  • Sustainability and Food Waste Overview
    • Highlights
    • Sustainability Issues Are at the Forefront of Food Waste Concerns
    • Lost Money Is Also a Primary Issue of Food Waste
    • How Consumers Think of Food Waste at Home
    • Sustainable Packaging and Its Relation to Food Waste
    • Best By, Best Before, and Sell By Labels Cause Confusion and Have Limitations
    • Consumer vs. Commercial Upcycling
    • Plant-Based Trends
      • Meat and Animal Agriculture Use More Resources than Plant-Based Food
      • A “Reducetarian” Mindset is Growing Among Consumers
  • Food Waste and Upcycling Trends and Opportunities
    • Highlights
    • Food Waste Points along the Supply Chain
      • Agriculture
      • Manufacturer/Processor
      • Transportation
      • Wholesale/Retail
      • Foodservice
      • Consumers
    • Improved Technology to Estimate Ripeness/Expiration or Improve Shelf Life
      • Produce Coatings for Increased Shelf Life
      • Imaging to Predict Ripeness
      • Smart Labels Can Improve Inventory Processes and Track Spoilage
    • Discounting Foods about to Expire
    • Meal Kits Reduce Food Waste at Home
    • Imperfect or “Ugly” Produce Has Become an Attractive Option for Consumers
    • Examples of Upcycling Commercial Food Waste
      • Reusing Leftover Production Inputs to Make New Foods
      • Upcycling Production Outputs As a Commercial Food Ingredient
      • Repurposing Rejected Products to Make New Products
      • Transforming Food Waste Into Construction Materials
      • Making Animal Feed from Food Scraps
      • Making Prepared Foods from Discarded Ingredients
  • Consumer Insights
    • Highlights
    • Thoughts on Sustainability
      • Attitudes on the Environment and Ethics
        • Table Environmental and Ethical Attitudes, 2022 (percent of consumers who agree completely)
      • Environmental Sustainability Has Increased in Importance for Food Purchasing Decisions
      • Food Production Factors in Decisions to Purchase Food
      • More Than Half of Consumers Believe Their Food Choices Impact the Environment
      • Younger Consumers Are More Concerned about the Environment
      • Indications that Products Are Environmentally Sustainable
      • Preferences for Eco-Friendly Products vs. Lower Price
      • Preferences for Socially Sustainable Products vs. Lower Price
    • Concerns about Food Waste
      • Most Consumers Are Concerned about Food Waste
        • Table Levels of Concern about the Environment and Sources of Food Waste, 2022 (percent of consumers)
      • How Consumers Reduce Food Waste
      • Food Waste Concerns by Demographic
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Plant-Forward Diets Followed, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Gender, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Age Bracket, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Household Income Bracket, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by U.S. Region, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Urban/Suburban/Rural Living, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Educational Attainment, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Presence of Children in the Household, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Race/Ethnicity, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
        • Table Concerns about Food Waste and the Environment by Use of Online Grocery Websites in the Last 30 Days, 2022 (percent of consumers who report being very concerned and index)
    • Consumer Priorities When Shopping for Food
      • Table Consumer Priorities When Shopping for Food, 2022 (percent of consumers)
    • Factors Consumers Use to Decide Whether Food Is Good or Safe to Consume
      • Table Consumer Ranking of Factors Used to Decide If Foods Are Good or Safe to Consume, 2022 (percent of consumers)
    • Meal Planning and Shopping Behavior
      • Table Consumer Behavior When Meal Planning and Shopping, 2022 (percent of consumers)
    • Consumer Opinions on Food Waste, Upcycled Ingredients, and Packaging Date Labels
      • Table Consumer Opinions on Food Waste, Upcycled Ingredients, and Packaging Date Labels, 2022 (percent of consumers)
    • Mindful and Intuitive Eating, and How It Relates to Food Waste
      • Definition
      • Dieting Activity
      • Frequency of Feelings and Behaviors Associated with Mindful and Intuitive Eating Patterns
      • Consumer Mindfulness Index
    • General Consumer Attitudes on Food and Health
      • Cooking Attitudes
        • Table Cooking Attitudes by Use of Plant/Nut Milks and Plant-Forward Diets Followed, 2022 (percent of consumers who agree completely)
      • Attitudes on Convenience Foods
        • Table Attitudes on Convenience Foods, Being Busy, and Stress by Use of Plant/Nut Milks and Plant-Forward Diets Followed, 2022 (percent of consumers who agree completely)
      • Attitudes on Premium Foods and Paying for Food
        • Table Attitudes on Premium Foods and Paying for Food by Use of Plant/Nut Milks and Plant-Forward Diets Followed, 2022 (percent of consumers who agree completely)

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