Report shows young less keen to use freezers

A new survey has found that freezers are ‘neglected’ and have been dubbed ‘graveyards’ by younger consumers. 

The study by IGDShopperVista found that 18- to 34-year-olds are twice as likely to not like eating food that is stored in the freezer than over-35s (18% versus 8%). The survey also found many simply use freezers as a space to save meat that is soon to go past its use-by date or to store unwanted food gifts from relatives.

The study was undertaken as part of research and training charity IGD’s new ‘Working on Waste’ campaign. Working in collaboration with WRAP, the campaign aims to help the food and grocery industry – which employs 3.6m people – educate employees on how to minimise food waste at home. Employees are being offered advice on portion planning, making the most of leftover food, utilising their freezer, education on best-before and use-by dates and the myth that food can go off before its use-by date.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “A lot of progress has been made already by companies across the industry to help consumers reduce household food waste. However, seven million tonnes of food and drink is still being thrown away by UK homes every year, costing consumers £12.5bn – so there’s more work to be done.

“As an industry, we employ 3.6m people and it is these employees that will form the bedrock of our campaign, taking learnings from their company into their households. In its first year, Working on Waste will reach around 650,000 employees in one month through meal planning advice, top tips, what to do with leftovers and much more. And if we can inspire each of these employees to inform their friends and family on how to reduce food waste, the campaign’s impact will be felt far beyond this number.”

The study also found that:

  • One in seven (14% of) 18- to 34-year-olds complain about a lack of fridge storage space against just 9% of over-35s, while a quarter (26%) of 18-34s feel they have insufficient room in the freezer compared to 14% of over-35s
  • 18-34s are much more likely to store new food and drink at the front of fridge than over-35s (41% against 23%)
  • Fewer 18-34s rate themselves as good at organising their fridge or cupboards than over-35s (55% against 63%)
  • Half of 18-34s (51%) tend to store frozen-bought food rather than homemade leftovers in the freezer, similar to over-35s (54%).
  • Some of the 18-34s surveyed did show an interest in using their freezer more effectively, either by buying a larger one, changing their usage or cooking meals specifically to store in it.

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