Most consumers are interested in reducing food waste.
Wasting away
Worldwide, consumers are starting to pay attention to not only how much they throw away but also how companies contribute to food waste.
A widely publicized study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization  reported that roughly one-third, about 1.3 billion tons, of the food produced globally for human consumption is lost to waste. The United States is a particularly large contributor to the problem with 133 billion lbs wasted annually.

To combat this, food producers and retail outlets all over the world are trying to tackle the previously held belief that food needs to look picture perfect to buy. Grocery stores such as Intermarché in France have launched campaigns highlighting the still-edible qualities of “ugly” vegetables and cakes/biscuits sporting visual defects. A Brazilian start-up called Fruta Imperfeita even provides home delivery for fruits and vegetables with less-than-perfect shelf appeal.

Efforts such as these seem to be working, albeit slowly. According to Mintel, a little more than half of U.S. adults who purchase vegetables are now open to buying misshapen or bruised ones.

Packaging and portion size makes a big difference in product sales as well, especially from a sustainability standpoint. Fifty-six per cent of U.K. adults report an interest in baked goods with packaging that keeps them fresh longer, avoiding waste. Fifty-three per cent of Chinese adults aged 20 to 49 reported a desire for smaller size options for sauces and seasoning products. Recyclability and compostability of packaging is another growing trend, with 40% of Canadian coffee and/or tea drinkers in agreement that single-serve coffee or tea pods should be compostable or biodegradable.