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Why our fight on food waste is a chain reaction


Our mission to protect and preserve food is not one we can achieve alone. That’s why we’re working with partners across the food chain to transform the system and help end the food waste crisis.

Father and son eating

In our recent Future Foods announcement we pledged to halve food waste across our operations from factory to shelf by 2025 – five years ahead of the UN’s SDG 2030 target.

Our accelerated plan of action was fuelled by the urgency of what is not only a humanitarian but also an environmental and economic crisis.

Now we are ready to announce how we are driving wide-reaching change beyond the boundaries of our business and tackling food loss and waste across the food chain. Over the next years we will focus on the following five areas of action:

  • Halving food waste in our direct operations from factory to shelf by 2025
  • Achieving zero waste to landfill and ensuring no good food is destroyed
  • Enrolling key supply partners to follow our lead and tackle food loss and waste in their operations
  • Helping our food service customers avoid food waste through education, partnerships and services and finding ways of redistributing surplus food
  • Using our brands to help our consumers waste less food at home.

Working through the problem with partners from the inside out

Through these goals we hope to build a more sustainable business and showcase what is possible.

We know, of course, that as one of the world’s biggest food manufacturers we have a role to play and that we cannot do it alone. To achieve sustainable change at scale we need our partners in our complicated food chain to join us, from production and manufacturing to retail and consumption.

Harnessing the power of tech, training and thinking outside the box

Partnership will be the key to our success. By using the most innovative technologies to combat food waste and teaming up with organisations that redistribute food, as well as like-minded businesses and NGOs, we can make positive change at scale across the food chain.

Here are some examples of our joined-up thinking.

1. Helping production use up their surplus

Cremissimo ice cream tub

Food production can result in excess that often goes to waste. We are working hard across our operations to ensure circular processes that avoid any good food being destroyed.

Our Cremissimo ice cream team have found a way to collect ice cream not used in the primary production process and mixing it in with delicious chocolate sauce and white chocolate chips to create ‘saved’ ice cream.

Over 1.2 million Cremissimo Chocolate Hero tubs have been sold to date, representing a waste reduction of 160 tonnes – or 300,000 tubs – of ice cream a year.

To add to the brand’s ecological credentials, each tub is made from 100% recyclable plastic and features the Too Good To Go’s new ‘Often Good for Longer’ use-by date label – making Cremissimo one of the first ice cream brands in Germany to feature this type of guidance to combat food waste.

2. Helping retailers resell food that’s just ‘Too Good To Go’

Too good to go delivery bag

Teaming up with pioneering food waste combat app Too Good To Go has given our retailers and consumers a win–win way to tackle food waste head on. The concept is simple. Retailers post any surplus food they have in their system on the app at a significantly reduced price. The product appears on a map showing where consumers can go and collect it.

Providing a clear proof point of just how effective a resell strategy can be, our partnership with Too Good to Go offers advantages to everyone involved. Retailers benefit from turning a potential revenue loss into income, consumers access quality products at bargain prices and we, as an organisation, gain a simple way of preserving perfectly good food that would otherwise have been wasted.

Recent pilots in Belgium and France, for example, have offered consumers the chance to buy near-to-expiry Ben & Jerry’s and Migros ice cream, Lipton ice tea and Knorr soups at 70% of the recommended retail price.

“We offer companies and consumers a unique opportunity to do something good for the environment and to get something back at the same time,” says Mette Lykke, CEO of Too Good To Go.

3. Helping professional kitchens monitor their bins with AI

Man controlling food waste with technology

Waste in the food service industry, in venues such as restaurants, hotels and cafés, can be as high as 50%. But the huge food turnover in these professional kitchens means it is not always easy to see what is being wasted… or why.

Our partnership with smart tech provider, Orbisk is helping shed some clarity on this problem by offering a simple way to monitor waste.

Once installed on a food bin, the Orbisk smart camera can identify precisely what, how much and when waste is being thrown away thanks to its AI technology.

This information is compiled into a weekly online report that gives chefs and managers vital insight that can help them plan better and waste less. The results have been impressive, with professional kitchens in which Orbisk has been installed reporting an average 10kg of food saved every day.

‘It’s so easy,” says Twan Hakvoort, a restaurant owner, in the Netherlands. “In half a second, the camera takes a picture of the food that is thrown away. It even recognises which foods and how much is being wasted. It’s the future of waste management in food service.”

The really smart part? Because Orbisk is built on a system of artificial intelligence, the longer the system operates in a customer setting, the better it becomes at identifying new and different types of waste, making the reports it generates more insightful each and every time.

4. Helping consumers get creative with their leftovers in the kitchen

With over 40% of food loss coming from consumer homes, tackling the waste issue on the home front is a priority. To this end, Hellmann’s has committed to inspiring and enabling 100 million consumers every year to 2025 to be more resourceful with their food at home, and so waste less.

Providing inspiration and practical solutions has been at the heart of Hellmann’s campaigns such as Fridge Blindness in Brazil, #SobraSabor in Argentina or #MixItUp in the UK. Offering tips and hacks on how to transform neglected leftovers into delicious meals, the campaigns resulted not only in helping people make the most of the food in their fridges but also in enabling them to develop more responsible consumption habits.

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