SAN FRANCISCO — A new survey commissioned by Afresh Technologies showed consumers are concerned about food waste and want to shop at retailers committed to fixing the global issue. Results of the survey, conducted by Momentive, also indicated consumers would spend more time and money in produce departments that are large and well stocked with fresh produce. 

Almost 60% of the respondents said they are extremely or very concerned about food waste, with another 36% of people saying they are somewhat concerned. A little more than half (52%) try to reduce food waste while grocery shopping. 

Almost 70% of respondents did not know 43 billion pounds of food waste is created at the retail level each year. Once they learned this staggering statistic, nearly three-quarters (72%) said they would support a grocery store committed to reducing food waste.  

In addition to increasing profits by throwing out less food, if shoppers know a store is committed to reducing food waste, they are significantly more likely to support the store, according to the survey. 

The survey showed that: 

  • 63% will feel more compelled to shop there 
  • 52% would shop there more frequently 
  • 52% would recommend the store to family and friends 

When it comes to produce departments, the survey also revealed: 

  • 74% of consumers expect produce displays to look fresh and delicious 
  • 71% expect the produce to last once they take it home 
  • 70% expect the produce they want to be in stock 
  • If a store has a large amount of fresh produce, consumers will spend more time (56%) and money (51%) in the produce department, while 65% will be more inclined to shop there again 

“We launched Afresh to end food waste by building the brain powering the global fresh food industry. We are starting by helping grocery stores optimize the quantity of fresh food delivered to the store each day and have big ambitions to expand throughout the supply chain,” said Matt Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of Afresh. “The retailers we partner with are committed to big sustainability goals that include significant reductions in food waste, and this research demonstrates that consumers support stores that value sustainability and are taking positive actions to address the food waste issue.” 

Afresh’s solution is purpose-built to help grocery stores manage and optimize fresh forecasting, inventory, ordering, merchandising, and operations by giving fresh department managers AI-powered insights and intuitive tooling as part of its Fresh Operating System. Grocers who use Afresh software have seen dramatic reductions in food waste and achieved superior in-stock rates for shoppers, as well as a significant increase in operating margins.