Retail Survey 2019

5th November 2019

Helping consumers reduce food waste through better labelling and product changes.

Key points
Detailed survey of 2,000 products across all the major supermarkets.
Retailers and brands help customers throw away less food by adopting good practice for the way products are packaged, labelled and priced.
Changes could help reduce the UK’s annual food waste bill, including binned fruit and vegetables worth nearly £4 billion.

In 2019, WRAP undertook a survey of own-brand and branded food products sold by UK food retailers to assess their adoption of good practice that helps people waste less food in the home – identifying progress relative to previous surveys conducted in 2009, 2011 and 2015. 

Compared to the results of the previous surveys, excellent progress has been made in some areas (e.g. available product life extension on dairy products, removal of date codes and adoption of the blue fridge logo on fresh produce, use of the snowflake logo on bread). More action is needed in other areas (e.g. extending available product life or removing Best Before labels on potatoes, removing/amending open life statements, particularly on cheese, and inclusion of cook from frozen advice on meat items).

For the first time, each retailer has received a detailed assessment of its own performance, including where improvements are required, which is summarised in the Retail Survey.

The results are accompanied by updated sector guidance for fresh produce. The guidance will help retailers identify where more fresh produce can be sold loose, and reduce the application of Best Before dates on some pre-packed fresh produce – where it can help reduce food waste at home.