Waste on the Mind

Newsflash: Britons are increasingly focused on food waste.

We’d long suspected that, but here’s further quantitative proof to that effect, courtesy of the Sustainable Restaurant Association study The Discerning Diner¬†(here’s the full report PDF). The SRA poll asked: ‘which of these 13 issues are most important for restaurants to focus on.’ The 1,000 poll respondents then had to choose their top three.

In 2009, when the SRA asked the same question, food waste was nowhere near the top. This year, food waste tied for first with customer health and nutrition. In other words, WRAP, Feeding the 5K and others in Britain are doing an awesome job communicating the food waste message.

Surprisingly, interest in the issue spans all age ranges. The age bracket most concerned about waste were the 18-24 year olds, not the 65+ group with their wartime memories.

And respondents want to hear more about food waste from restaurants–it was the fourth-leading item in that category. Hopefully restaurateurs will oblige by implementing waste reduction measures and communicating them to customers.

image courtesy of Eco OutsourceOne such strategy, smaller portions, seems popular. To reduce plate waste, 70 percent of respondents said they would consider ordering a smaller portion or already do so.

And there’s some positive news on the leftover front. While embarrassment over asking for a “doggy box” remains a bit of a barrier, the SRA’s awesome¬†Too Good To Waste campaign, complete with branded take-home boxes, seems to be working. A slightly larger percentage of respondents said they’d consider taking leftovers home if restaurants provided a container.

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