The Food Tracker survey is a survey of UK citizens that gathers evidence on food waste attitudes, knowledge, and behaviour. It is the largest and longest-running series of its kind, having been undertaken by WRAP since 20071. It is designed to inform WRAP’s activities but also to assess any changes in attitudes and behaviours over time.

Conducted by Icaro between November 9th and 20th, 2023, the survey comprises 1,026 interviews with Welsh adults responsible for food shopping and preparation at home.

Overall picture of the findings: Key food trends

The survey highlights encouraging trends in the management of food waste among Welsh citizens. Notably, there has been a decrease in self-reported food waste from 21.8% in November 2022 to 20% in November 2023, coinciding with a context where cost of living pressures seem to be easing.

However, despite the persistent salience of food waste as an issue, there is a widening gap between the recognition of food waste and the personal action taken to address it. One significant finding is that 19% of Welsh citizens are comfortable not using up all the food they buy, indicating a potential area for targeted interventions to promote more sustainable food practices.

Key findings

  • Self-reported food waste decreased to 20% in November 2023 from 21.8% in November 2022.
  • Positive trends were observed in food management competencies in 2023, particularly in buying and food preparation.
  • Food prices remain a top concern, with 64% of Welsh citizens expressing worry.
  • 36% of Welsh citizens rank food waste among their top 5 concerns.
  • While 95% are aware of food waste as a national issue, only 69% feel they're making more effort to reduce it.
  • 53% of Welsh citizens recall seeing or hearing about wasted food.
  • Challenges persist, including a decline in recall of information about reducing food waste (31%).
  • Recognition of Love Food Hate Waste remains stable at 34% among Welsh citizens since 2022.

Overall picture of the findings: Fresh fruit and veg

In addition to food waste trends, the survey delves into fresh fruit and veg behaviours. Around 76% of Welsh citizens buy fresh produce loose, however, desiring more loose options. Most (77%) believe supermarkets should sell more loose produce, and would buy more if available (70%). Challenges include comparing prices, concerns about quality and hygiene, and convenience factors.

Key findings

  • 76% of Welsh citizens buy fresh fruit and veg loose, with a desire for more options.
  • 77% believe supermarkets should sell more loose produce.
  • Challenges include difficulty comparing prices (30%), concerns about quality (34%), and convenience factors (26%).
  • Half (50%) are motivated to buy loose produce to reduce packaging waste.
  • Buying loose correlates with lower reported waste and better food management competencies.

1 The focus of the survey and the specific questions have naturally changed with time and so direct comparisons over time typically only cover part of this period (e.g. between 2018-2023). 

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  • Household Food Waste Tracking Survey in Wales - Autumn 2023

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