British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s hopes to make customers aware of their food-wasting habits with an app that advises them how to cook and shop. British households waste up to 7 million tons of food each year, worth 14.6 billion euro.
7 million tons of food
On average, two in five apples and one in five bananas never get eaten, but an astonishing four out of five families believe they hardly waste food. This prompted the supermarket chain to develop an app (Winnow) to warn people, who it feels are “in denial”, about their consumption habits. The app will record how much and what type of food is discarded and then displays the money the customer basically just threw away. It also keeps track about the items that are often bought but never eaten (like bananas or bagged salads).
The app, based on technology to track waste in restaurants, is currently being tested by a selected group of customers, including British Members of Parliament. Preliminary results indicate the app has helped lower food waste 68 % or an equivalent of 258 pounds (300 euro) per year.
It does require effort from the customer, because he has to weigh the binned items and tell why it is being thrown away. Depending on the habits, the app will then inform to alter cooking times or to lower the amount bought. Paul Crewe, head of sustainability at Sainsbury’s: “Winnow is brilliant because it not only highlights the cost associated with food waste, but challenges you to beat your own records.”