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Leading Food and Nutrition Professionals Tackle Food Waste

March 28, 2019

FleishmanHillard’s Chicago office recently hosted a group of food and nutrition professionals – including clients, industry leaders and agency partners – to discuss how brands can make an impact reducing food waste.

This discussion was the first of a set of meetings we are hosting to spotlight FleishmanHillard’s GenFood report, which was conducted by FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence practice and surveyed more than 2,000 nutrition-forward cross-generational consumers.

The goal of this session was to begin the conversation of what brands can do to combat the issue of food waste and brainstorm ideas on how they can insert themselves in upcoming Earth Day (April 22) and National Stop Food Waste Day (April 24).

Highlights from the discussion included:

  • There is room to own the space. No brand has taken ownership of the conversation on reducing food waste yet, so there is room to break through to authentically lead the path on food waste reduction.
  • Consumers are engaged. Food waste is a popular topic among consumers because it feels tangible – consumers feel food waste is something they can truly affect with their purchasing and eating behaviors.
  • A linkage to sustainability. The topic of food waste is inherently linked to environmental sustainability, but that means different things to each consumer (e.g., sustainable packaging, farming, ingredient sourcing, distribution, etc.).
  • It starts in the fieldFood waste is being tackled from the farm gate to the dinner plate, so consideration of all levels impacted is essential.
  • The time to act is now. Companies often feel they can’t tackle an issue like food waste until the organization has a clear vision of how to solve the entire problem – which may be impossible, especially for large organizations. If the brand has even just one element of food waste to tackle authentically, then they should take the leap, because consumers are yearning for it.

Like the similarities between generations found in the GenFood report, there are shared values among industry partners when it comes to food waste. The meeting sparked honest conversation and inspiration on how brands can tackle these issues and our food, agriculture and beverage team is looking forward to more GenFood-focused meetings to come!