University of Leeds – Tackling food waste with ASDA customers

Asda customers succeeded in reducing food waste and saving money through an award-winning scheme developed with Professor William Young from the University of Leeds. The UK throws away 9.5 million tonnes of food each year, and household food waste accounts for 70% of this amount, according to UK waste reduction charity WRAP. Professor Young, an expert on consumer behaviour and modelling, worked with Asda to tackle knowledge barriers faced by consumers around waste. Using established psychology-based theories and by trailing different food waste reduction models, the team developed a range of strategies to help customers waste less. Messaging on both the consequences of wasting food and methods to prevent it was deployed across Asda’s product mix, including their in-store magazine. Face-to-face behaviour change initiatives, such as community networks, focus groups, and in-store ‘champions’ proved highly successful in influencing and motivating consumers to take action.

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