One-third of Canadian families waste a shopping bag's worth of food each week: Study

A new report from Hellmann's and Wrap finds consumers have made little improvement over the past year when it comes to food waste
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Many households are wasting just as much (or even more) food as they did last year, according to a new report from Hellmann’s and climate action NGO Wrap.

The study, which surveyed consumers in Canada, the U.S., UK and Australia, found that nearly half (45%) are tossing out about the same amount of food as they did in 2021.

For 29% of Canadian families, that food waste is the equivalent of one shopping bag each week. 

Across all markets, tossing away groceries adds up to about $1,352 per year on average.

But consumers are starting to take action to better plan their food in other ways, reporting using a shopping list (74%); planning meals in advance (61%); and freezing fresh and leftover food (58%). 

Respondents shared that they want to be more resourceful, but often don't know where to start – 39% don't know where to find helpful information when it comes to reducing food waste.

When asked, 60% of Canadians said they would like brands to help them be more resourceful with food.

"No one sets out with the intention of throwing good food away. The lack of time or energy are often the main drivers of food waste. Through our research, we discovered Canadians didn't have access to resources to help them, but they were keen to improve their skills and confidence to shift behaviour and reduce food waste. Our work with Wrap is intended to respond to that request and provide tools to make the most of the food they have on-hand. We are confident that with practical solutions, people will be able to keep track and think differently," Kristen Denega, Canada Hellmann's market lead and North America innovations, said in a release.

Through its ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign and annual Food Waste Action Week (taking place March 6 to 12), Wrap aims to provide practical steps to prevent food going to waste in the home, and help mitigate against the impact food waste has on climate change.

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