Fuelled by increased media attention on food waste, it comes with no surprise that more than three-quarters (77%) of consumers globally are actively trying to minimize food waste all or most of the time.

The desire for positive affirmation through product purchases has changed consumer attitudes towards FMCG goods. The concepts of "doing the right thing" and "feeling good," are in fact encouraging consumers, especially those in mature age, to proactively minimize food waste.

On the other hand, thanks to recent technological developments bringing new extracting and processing methods, producers are now able to find a new life for waste ingredients in fresh food, such as snacks or soups made from “ugly” fruits or vegetables.

In the USA, Ugliest Kettle Cooked Chips stops ‘imperfect’ looking potatoes from going to waste by using them to offer a product that is lower in cost and environmental-friendly.

Following the same trend, in the Netherlands, Jumbo Supermarket B.V. has recently launched a new range of soup under the Jumbo brand name which is made from vegetable scraps. The products allow farmers to turn ‘ugly’ vegetables into profit and to provide consumers a lower price point for consumers.

Food waste does not only have potential uses in product formulation – it can also be used as a packaging component. For instance, in the UK, Waitrose adds an environmentally friendly twist to a staple food. Its Gluten Free Fusilli Past is now packed in a box partially made from food waste. The environmentally friendly packaging option claims to “reduce the use of virgin tree pulp by 15% and to lower greenhouse gas emissions by one-fifth”.

Using food waste as an ingredient in product formulation and packaging is an innovative idea to capture attention of those consumers who take active part in addressing sustainability issues.