A recent study conducted by Kerry reveals that one-third of consumers are willing to switch to brands or products that offer better shelf life.
This openness to change is being driven by consumers’ desire to act on food waste—98% of those surveyed were actively trying to minimize food waste, driven by factors such as financial concerns, environmental considerations and mindfulness of world hunger.
Meanwhile, 69% of consumers expressed an inclination to purchase products formulated to reduce food waste. This represents a significant opportunity for the food industry to innovate and create products that meet evolving consumer expectations.
The study, which involved 5,154 consumers across 10 countries, found that 72% of respondents believe that extending the shelf life of a product would help them reduce waste. Additionally, 74% of consumers consider preservatives to be important when making food purchases.
Role of Preservation
A total of 82% of respondents expressed acceptance of natural preservatives, while 50% of consumers are open to purchasing products with artificial preservatives—although buying patterns indicate a higher acceptance of these solutions.
Commenting on the research findings, Bert de Vegt, vice president of food preservation and protection, at Kerry, says, “Our research clearly demonstrates that consumers have a strong desire to reduce food waste in their own homes, and they increasingly recognize the role of preservation in achieving this goal. As inflationary pressures remain, preventing products from going to waste has become more crucial than ever.”
“With 29 September marking the UN International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, these findings further highlight an urgent need for the food industry to maintain action on food waste and improve the shelf life of products where possible. By doing so, companies can meet the evolving demands of consumers who are increasingly conscious of the impact of food waste on themselves, society, and the planet.”
Kerry’s portfolio includes sodium-free buffered vinegars, potassium acetates, multifunctional systems to solve preservation challenges in meat products, and a range of fermented wheat products for mold control in bread applications. Kerry also sits on the Consumer Goods Forum's Food Waste Coalition of Action and uses insights to help customers and consumers demystify on-pack labels and date information.