Food waste top concern among British consumers

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Food waste, sugar and animal welfare were the top concerns among consumers
Food waste, sugar and animal welfare were the top concerns among consumers

Related tags Trends Food waste Sugar

Food waste, sugar and animal welfare were among the top concerns for British consumers when buying food, according to a new report from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Food and You 2, the FSA’s flagship consumer survey, found that two in five of those asked said they had eaten less processed food in the past year and are trying to cut down on food waste. 

Conducted between October 2021 and January 2022, the survey measured self-reported knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to food safety and other food issues among adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Top concerns  

Top of the list of concerns among British consumers was food waste (63%), followed by the amount of sugar in food (59%) and animal welfare (56%). 

Consumer confidence in the food that they bought remained strong among respondents (92%), while more than eight in 10 (86%) said they were confident that the information on food labels was accurate.  

Emily Miles, chief executive at the FSA, said: “As well as giving us an important insight into the FSA’s core responsibility of food safety, Food and You 2 also provides us with a detailed snapshot of peoples’  perceptions and behaviours on food-related issues, including sustainability, food security and their diets. 

New strategy 

“The FSA’s new strategy committed it to helping the governments we serve in Westminster, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure food is healthier and more sustainable, as well as being safe and what it says it is. This insight is part of the evidence we provide so that consumers’ perspectives on the food they eat are heard.” 

The survey also found that 40% of respondents were eating less processed food in the previous 12 months, while a further 40% said they had started to minimise food waste.  

Around a third (32%) of respondents reported that they currently eat meat alternatives, 21% of respondents reported that they used to eat meat alternatives but no longer do and 39% of respondents reported that they had never eaten meat alternatives. 


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