Brits waste 130m sprouts at Christmas

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Brits will throw away more than a million sprouts this Christmas, according to Warbutons
Brits will throw away more than a million sprouts this Christmas, according to Warbutons

Related tags Fresh produce

The great British public will throw away 130m sprouts and 91m slices of turkey this Christmas, as seven in 10 consumers admit to cooking too much food over the festive period, according to research by Warburtons.

A study by the baker found that 93m roast potatoes, 85m helpings of stuffing, 82m parsnips and 77m pigs in blankets will be thrown away over the holidays – in addition to wasting enough gravy to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

The wastage of food in households could be attributed to a number of attitudes exhibited by consumers at Christmas. A poll of almost 2,000 Brits found 42% said it was better to have too much food than not enough, with the average household making enough food to feed an extra three people.

63% wasted too much food

Despite 29% of respondents admitting to treating the period as a time for excess, nearly two-thirds (63%) said they wasted too much food – either throwing it away or feeding it to their pets.

According to Darren Littler, head of innovation at Warburtons: “It’s all too easy to overdo the Christmas shop when friends and family are visiting, but thinking ahead can help reduce the need to throw away good food.

“Using leftovers for a festive sandwich can keep the whole family happy, with our research revealing a traditional combination of turkey, ham, stuffing, pigs in blankets and cranberry sauce still reigns supreme.”

Meanwhile, work to reduce food waste has seen significant progress, but more can still be done to limit the cost of wasted food to the UK,​ according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme.

Princes food waste figures


Princes has reported just 1.25% of its total food production tonnage was wasted in the year to March 2019.

Of the 20,768t of waste generated, 17,911t (86%) was sent to anaerobic digestion to be converted to energy, 2,724t (13%) was used for animal feed, and 75t (0.4%) was redistributed for human consumption. No waste was sent to landfill from any of its manufacturing sites.

Commenting on the figures, corporate relations director David McDiarmid said: “While our UK waste figures are good in terms of industry standards, we are far from complacent and know there is more we can do to reduce waste in our operations and ensure our food waste is redistributed in the best manner possible.

“The SDG 12.3 goal asks us to consider waste from field to fork, so we will continue to encourage our global suppliers to tackle food waste in their own operations, and are committed through our brands, such as Princes, Napolina and Crosse & Blackwell, to communicate more to consumers on food waste in the home. It’s crucial all parties play a role in encouraging a sustainable future for our food supply.”

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