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Freeze it, don’t bin it!

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Iglo Group, Europe’s largest frozen food company, has launched a coalition with leading waste reduction charity WRAP to help reduce food waste across Europe.

The coalition is launching the iFreeze campaign to draw attention to the fact that European households waste an average of €260 of food every year. It will provide advice and tips on how freezing and frozen food can help to reduce waste and save money. The campaign is part of Iglo Group’s Forever Food Together (FFT) programme, launched in October 2014.

‘WRAP found that around 850,000 tonnes of good food goes to waste every year from our homes, which could have been eaten later if frozen. That’s throwing away enough food to fill Wembley stadium, food worth more than £3 billion. So it’s crucial to raise awareness and provide information on ways to prevent food waste, and WRAP is delighted to be working with Iglo.

‘This partnership allows us to highlight the important role freezing can play in reducing food waste, and will help support our ambition to halve UK avoidable household food waste by 2025.’

Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP

Confused by labels

Research by Iglo Group shows that 1 in 5 people throw away food because they’ve prepared, cooked or served too much (22%), or because they feel it has gone past its best (20%).

The research also found that consumers believe existing food labels are confusing: over 71% of consumers think that throwing away food that has passed its ‘best-before’ date is wasteful – and 33% consider food that had passed its ‘use-by’ date to be waste.

What is ‘waste’?

Iglo Group’s research also found that 50% don’t think they’re wasting food if they throw away a sprouting potato. In addition, only 24% would consider a cup of tea to count towards the food they throw away.

WRAP’s research found a similar situation: 5.8 million potatoes are discarded each day in the UK, and drinks comprise 17% of total food waste. This suggests people are unknowingly wasting food.

The results of Iglo Group’s research demonstrate that further education is required, and the iFreeze campaign will encourage consumers to store and freeze food rather than throw it away. The Group will provide information through TV and print advertising, online tips and on-pack advice.

€5m investment

Across 2015, the company plans to invest over €5m in iFreeze and will contribute to the Forever Food Together goal to inform consumers on at least one billion occasions by the end of 2020.

‘Freezing, as a means of preservation, and frozen food both have the potential to play a key role in the fight against food waste and save consumers money.

‘As Europe’s leading frozen food company, we should and can help educate consumers. Research shows that consumers want businesses to work with other organisations and forming this partnership with WRAP enables us to elevate this message. We’re delighted that Birds Eye is the first Iglo Group brand to launch iFreeze.’

Andy Weston-Webb, UK MD, Iglo Group

Birds Eye, Iglo Group’s UK brand, will be the first to launch the campaign in April, supported by WRAP, Hotpoint and the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF). The Group’s other leading food brands – Findus in Italy and Iglo elsewhere in Europe -will launch education campaigns across 2015.

Hotpoint and the BFFF

Alongside Iglo Group and WRAP, Hotpoint (owned by the Whirlpool Corporation), one of Europe’s leading manufacturers and distributors of large home appliances, is a key partner of the campaign.

Hotpoint will promote iFreeze in both the UK and Europe at events such as Ideal Home Show and Good Food Show.

Earlier this week, the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), which is also supporting the campaign, released a report that identified the role frozen food can play in reducing food waste and ensuring food security.

WRAP works in partnership with governments, businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, communities and individuals, looking for practical advice to improve resource efficiency that delivers both economic and environmental benefits. Visit the charity’s website to find out more.

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