Food Waste – Analyzing Consumer Insights, Trends and Sustainability

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Food waste is a complex issue, affecting various stages of the food supply chain. The foodservice industry is a major contributor to global food waste meaning that there is a moral imperative to solve this issue as well as to meet consumer demand for sustainability.

The food waste analysis report identifies the key trends, which are currently affecting the foodservice landscape. It explains the various reasons why Localism is important to the consumer and how industry players can leverage it, with a view to how the trend will evolve over the next few years.

Demographic Groups for “Zero-Wastage”

Foodservice brands should tailor their approach to demographic groups to tackle food waste effectively. These groups include Central & South America, Asia & Australasia, Middle East & Africa, Europe, and North America.

Overall, zero-wastage is important to most consumers from every demographic. Regionally, Asia and the Global South have slightly higher numbers of consumers who find zero-wastage important. Consumer food waste in these regions was significantly lower than in Europe or North America. This suggests that culturally more encouragement from foodservice brands is required in Western countries to get consumers to become less wasteful.

Demographic Breakdown of Consumers That Find “Zero-Wastage” an Important Factor in a Product

Demographic Breakdown of Consumers That Find "Zero-Wastage" an Important Factor in a Product

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Supply Chain Pressure Factors Affecting Food Waste

Some factors adversely affecting the food service supply chain are COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict, Brexit, and climate change.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused labor and supply shortages causing issues such as the “pig cull” in the UK. Moreover, geo-political issues such as Brexit and the Ukraine conflict has resulted in food being held at ports and potentially getting spoiled. Furthermore, increasingly unpredictable weather conditions leave produce vulnerable to ruin.

Factors Motivating Consumers to Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is a highly emotive issue for many consumers​. Consumers are motivated to reduce food waste by two factors, they are environmental and ethical factors. According to GlobalData’s 2021 Q3 global consumer survey, around three fourth of consumers globally say environmental factors are extremely/quite important. Hunger/food insecurity is also a high priority with a significant percentage of consumers globally saying it was extremely/quite important.

Actions to Reduce Food Waste

Some measures undertaken to reduce food wastage include preventative food waste innovations, repurposed food waste innovations, and culinary trends helping to combat food waste.

Preventative measures are the most complex but sustainable way to reduce food waste​. For instance, ReFED uses technology such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to diagnose and monitor areas for improvement in a food & beverages company’s supply chain.

Similarly, food waste recovery initiatives are philanthropic as well as environmentally friendly. For instance, Gili Lankanfushi, a hotel and resort in the Maldives implements a closed loop system which involves composting 100% of its food waste to use on its fruit and vegetable garden.

Key Actions for Foodservice Operator

The key actions for foodservice operator to consider at each stage of the supply chainare local sourcing, natural/whole sourcing, stock monitoring systems, discounts, portion control, e-commerce and composting among others.

Food Waste - Analyzing Consumer Insights, Trends and Sustainability Overview

Regions Covered Global
Demographic Groups Central & South America, Asia & Australasia, Middle East & Africa, Europe, and North America
Supply Chain Pressure Factors COVID-19 Pandemic, The Ukraine Conflict, Brexit, and Climate Change
Factors Motivating Consumers to Reduce Food Waste Environmental and Ethical
Actions to Reduce Food Waste Preventative Food Waste Innovations, Repurposed Food Waste Innovations, and Culinary Trends Helping to Combat Food Waste
Actions for Foodservice Operator Local Sourcing, Natural/Whole Sourcing, Stock Monitoring Systems, Discounts, Portion Control, E-Commerce and Composting


  • Given the social and environmental ramifications of food waste, consumers are wanting to make more sustainable choices and feel they are doing something ‘good’.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated inefficiencies in the supply chain.
  • In the interests of the health of their business as well as growing ESG regulatory pressure, foodservice operators will soon have to make food waste management a priority.
  • To address food waste effectively, foodservice brands are having to review the entire supply chain.
  • Businesses are finding innovative ways to tackle the issue, by leveraging culinary trends such as fermented and store cupboard ingredients, which are taking a star role in meals.

Reasons to Buy

  • Understand the challenges and opportunities for foodservice brands in order to tap into the food waste trend.
  • Gain insight into how competitors are responding to this trend.
  • Access valuable strategic take-outs to help direct future decision-making and inform new product and service development.

Saint Peter
Rethink Food
Gili Lankanfushi
Farmhouse Tavern
Just Eat
Oak Hill Café and Farm
Too Good To Go

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Consumer insight

Action against food waste


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