Food waste in households and food services

It is currently estimated that 340 million tons of food are wasted at the consumption level globally each year. This means that 22% of all food wasted along the supply chain is lost at this stage alone. This represents an economic opportunity of $500 billion (BCG, 2018). Since food waste occurs for many different reasons across the supply chain, we decided to list the main causes at households and food services (restaurants, hotels etc.) based on the literature, reports and sources out there.

The main causes for food waste at households:

  • Incorrect portioning
  • No planning before shopping
  • Confusion around food labelling and expiration dates
  • Not knowing how to properly store food
  • Lack of freezing leftovers
  • Lack of awareness or education around food and sustainability

The main causes of food waste in food services:

  • Over-preparation
  • Overfilled buffets
  • Incorrect and oversized portions
  • No practice of allowing customers to take home their own leftovers
  • Preparation residues (e.g trimmings, peels) and lack of repurposing ingredients
  • Over-ordering, overstocking and lack of adequate storage facilities

How you can make a difference? Find out more here.