Sainsbury’s has reportedly called time on a £10m scheme to reduce food waste after trials produced poor results.
The grocery giant had hoped to achieve a 50% cut in wastage with its ‘Waste Less, Save More’ initiative, which it launched in 2015.
However, shoppers in Swadlincote, Derbyshire reduced food waste by only 9% following a pilot project that saw the retailer mentor its customers on using food more efficiently.
The programme involved ‘smart fridges’ to monitor product freshness, kitchen gadgets, food planners and better-planned shopping lists.
Sainsbury’s funded the Swadlincote pilot to the tune of £1m, with plans to spend a further £10m over five years to roll out similar schemes across the UK.
But the campaign has now been dropped, according to The Guardian, and will be integrated into a wider wellbeing campaign.
The newspaper states that environmental charity Hubbub, a partner on the scheme, compared weights of 800 food waste bins before and after the trial to come to the results. These have not yet been officially disclosed, but are believed to be in single digits.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “We found our customers’ priorities have changed and broadened, which is why reducing food waste now forms one part of what is an even bigger investment to help our customers ‘live well’ in every aspect of their lives.”
The retailer added that it would continue to operate existing food waste programmes, such as donating surplus stock to charities or conversion of inedible food to biogas or animal feed.