Insights

Zero is Not a Number

Ways to reduce fresh food waste

Almost 1.3 billion tons of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted per year globally. That amounts to almost $950 billion.

Retailers often view this waste as a fact of life. However, the opportunity to reduce waste is actually pretty significant and, if pursued in the right way, there is a large upside for producers, retailers and consumers alike.

We worked with the Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) Community Shrinkage and On-shelf Availability Group to investigate how reducing waste affects on-shelf availability, and vice versa. To this end, we launched a major international study that was conducted by a leading research institute in the retail sector, Eindhoven University of  Technology in the Netherlands. The results show that waste is a choice and retailers have many opportunities to reduce it, increase category and store efficiencies, and improve profits.

Products with similar levels of on-shelf availability can have different levels of waste


Average waste versus expected case waste index


Actual fresh waste performance of two stores versus predicted waste

Zero is Not a Number


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