Americans waste 100 billion pounds of food each year. That’s $160 billion in lost value annually, and much of this waste occurs at the retailer level. Not only is this problem detrimental to the environment and global food security, it’s also bad for your store’s bottom line, not to mention brand reputation if consumers frequently find themselves throwing out your products due to real or perceived spoilage. 

Retail shrink and packaging

Sealed Air recently conducted a survey on the business implications of food waste, gathering retailers’ perspectives on the causes of and potential solutions to retail shrink. This study further examines retailer perceptions on sustainable packaging and its ability to increase shelf life, ultimately leading to significantly less waste, reducing retail shrink and driving retailers’ business.

Extending shelf life

Extending shelf life of food doesn’t just minimize waste, it saves money. While nearly 3/4ths of retailers believe increased shelf life would help reduce waste and in turn, help minimize the effects of retail shrink, only 1/4th think their company will invest in packaging that increases shelf life. 

However, when taken into account that reducing retail shrink by only 1% at a major U.S. retailer could result in millions of dollars saved over the course of 1 year, it’s hard to ignore the long-term financial benefits of investing in solutions that extend shelf life and reduce retail shrink.

Reduce food waste

Informed consumers look to retailers to help them reduce food waste. The concern for food waste by grocery shoppers exceeds concerns over other environmental issues, including air pollution, water shortages and climate change.

While consumers acknowledge that they share the blame for the food waste problem, a high percentage of Americans expect food retailers and manufacturers to be a part of the solution. In fact, more than half of Americans say information related to sustainable packaging will likely/very likely change the way they think about packaging and its ability to help food stay fresh longer.

This has significant business implications for food retailers.

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