ALDI survey provides the answers

How important is the issue of food waste to Germans?

On the occasion of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture's (BMEL) first nationwide campaign week for intensified food value estimation -running from 22 to 29 September- a survey on behalf of ALDI shows that Germans are concerned about food waste. The survey shows that practically everyone (95 per cent) is paying attention to this, trying to throw away as little food as possible

For example, one in two people surveyed (55.3 percent) keeps a close eye on their supplies, so that nothing is left to decay. 39.5 percent deliberately stores food in such a way that it will last as long as possible. And every third person (31.2 percent) plans his or her purchases in advance so that too much doesn't end up in the shopping cart.

ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD are also committed to responsible food handling in a variety of ways. Consumers particularly appreciate the cooperation between the two groups of companies and the food banks: 90.4 percent of Germans would like supermarkets and discounters to give more support to charitable organizations. At ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD, almost all branches are already donating food that is no longer for sale but is still edible to charitable organizations such as the local food banks and foodsharing.

Tobias Heinbockel, Managing Director of Category Management at ALDI Nord, comments on the results of the survey: "It is gratifying to see how highly the topic of food waste is rated by those surveyed. This confirms that we are not letting up on the subject."

Consumers can achieve a lot
However, the representative survey conducted by the opinion research institute Civey* on behalf of ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD also reveals a few gaps in the knowledge of consumers on the subject of food waste: at 42.1 percent, the majority of those questioned assume that most food waste is produced in the retail sector. In fact, according to a BMEL study, the most waste is actually thrown away in private households (52 percent), while the food trade (wholesale and retail) accounts for only four percent. This makes it clear that even if consumers are supposed to throw away little, they can make a big difference overall.

The significance of the best-before date (BBD) also does not yet seem clear to all consumers. Although a product is generally still edible after the expiration date if it is stored properly, around one in ten (9.2 percent) will throw expired food in the trash, just as a precaution. To prevent food from spoiling in the first place, ALDI always plans its inventories in such a way that surpluses are avoided. And thanks to optimized logistics chains, fruit and vegetables in particular reach the stores so quickly that they will last for a long time.

In addition to all this, ALDI offers food that is about to expire at the end of its MHD at a reduced price so that it is not thrown away unnecessarily. At ALDI Nord, for example, bread from the previous day is offered in specially designed baskets at half the original purchase price in most stores. ALDI SÜD is offering a 30 percent discount on almost the entire range of products that are about to reach their best-before date or the date of consumption, and prints a best-before date notice on selected dairy products.

"We at ALDI are committed to fighting food waste and have joined the National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. That is why it is particularly important for us to regularly sensitise our customers to this topic," says Erik Döbele, Managing Director of Central Purchasing at ALDI SÜD.

Older people are particularly careful with food
When asked how often they have to dispose of food at home because it is no longer good, 16.5 percent of Germans admit to throwing away food at least once a week. Younger ones handle thereby clearly less carefully with food than older ones: Because the younger the inquiry participants, the smaller also the portion of the asked ones, which throw meals less frequently than once in the month or even never into the garbage becomes. Among the over 65-year-olds, 70.6 percent say that about themselves. Among 18-29 year olds, on the other hand, the figure is less than half as high at 29.9 percent.

This is in line with the fact that, compared to the older respondents between 50 and 64 (3.9 percent) and over 65 (2.6 percent), a particularly large number of the younger ones between 18 and 29 (14.3 percent) say that they personally do not avoid food waste at all.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern throws away least, Saarland the most
In the federal state comparison the inquiry shows also, where in Germany food most frequently ends up in the garbage can. The people in Mecklenburg-Western Pomern are in first place when it comes to handling food: 61.7 percent of them state that they throw food away less often than once a month, or even never. At the bottom of the ranking is Saarland, where this number is only 44.5 percent.

By the way: ALDI Nord and ALDI SÜD are not only supporting this weeks campaign "Germany saves food! This year, both groups have also signed the declaration of participation in the Dialogue Forum Wholesale and Retail. In doing so, they have committed themselves to reducing food waste and reaffirm their commitment to the UN sustainability goal of halving the amount of food thrown away worldwide by 2030.

Source: Aldi Nord 


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