Survey shows consumers’ concerns with freshness, food waste
Nearly half of Americans identified pre-packaged meals or meal delivery services as a potential solution for reducing food waste.
Phononic, Durham, N.C., announced the findings of a survey that revealed consumers’ attitudes toward food waste, food and meal delivery services and portable refrigeration. Respondents estimated that they personally throw out 23% of their food each year, and they expressed concerns about the negative financial and environmental implications of such waste.
Nearly half of Americans identified pre-packaged meals or meal delivery services as a potential solution for reducing food waste. While these services are increasing in popularity, the survey indicated that there are hurdles to overcome before there is widespread adoption. For example, respondents were concerned about refrigeration of food during delivery and the freshness of food when it arrives. A large majority of Americans (72%) would be more likely to use a meal or food delivery service if the food was guaranteed to be fresh.
“In the United States, a staggering amount of food is sent to landfills each year. With Earth Day around the corner, this issue is top-of-mind for consumers who want to curb food waste, buy organic and eat healthier. Emerging retail models like meal and grocery delivery services have the potential to help consumers achieve their goals, if retailers are able to overcome challenges such as bulky and even more wasteful packaging needed to maintain temperature control,” says Tony Atti, founder and CEO. “We believe our advancements in solid state refrigeration can keep food fresh across the last mile, which ends at the consumer’s door. For many Americans, this could be the deciding factor to signing on for delivery services, ultimately helping to reduce food waste.”
Responses showed that consumers have a positive view of portable refrigeration. Over half of Americans said they would be more likely to use a grocery and/or meal delivery service if they had a battery-powered portable refrigerator to keep the food fresh in transit and upon delivery.
The survey also revealed several common preferences among consumers toward meal and food delivery services and portable refrigeration.
Food waste concerns
- Survey results showed a disconnect in consumers’ perception of food waste. While they correctly estimate that about 41% of all food gets wasted, they estimate that they personally waste only 23% each year.
- Half of Americans (51%) say that while they tend to plan their meals and buy food for them, they get so busy they just order in and/or eat out instead of cooking.
- Asked what might motivate them to waste less food, saving money topped the list (64%), followed by managing their household and/or meal planning more efficiently (47%) and feeling guilty about wasting food when others don’t have enough (35%).
- Breaking down the types of food that consumers throw out, vegetables (55%) and fruit (53%) led the pack, followed by leftovers from eating out (49%) and bread and bread-based products (47%).
- 69% of Americans said when they shop for fruits and vegetables, they often avoid buying any because they looked close to spoiling in the store, and 52% would buy more organic food if it didn’t tend to go bad quicker than non-organic food.
Meal and food delivery benefits and hurdles
- Nearly half of consumers (48%) think they would waste less food if they purchased pre-packaged meals and/or used a meal delivery service.
- Among concerns about food and meal delivery services, 71% of consumers were most worried about how the food is stored while being delivered, and 65% feel these services cause too much packaging waste.
- 72% said they would be more likely to use a delivery service if the food was guaranteed to be fresh.
Portable refrigeration possibilities
- Over half of Americans (56%) would be more likely to use a grocery and/or meal delivery service if it had a battery-powered portable refrigerator to keep the food cold/fresh. And, 49% would even be willing to pay more for these services if they used portable refrigeration.
- 66% said they could eat healthier with someplace to store fresh, healthy snacks that they can take with them, and 51% said portable refrigeration is something they could find a lot of uses for in their daily lives.
Phononic surveyed 2,000-plus adults across the United States.