After making it to supermarkets and into our homes, food spoils and is eventually wasted. A variety of tools and systems can stop this waste. This includes innovations in packaging and incentivizing consumers and retailers to sell and purchase more responsibly with respect to reducing food waste.
In high and very-high HDI countries, most food is wasted by consumers or from distribution and market practices that discard much food. This happens because the food might not look or feel as consumers prefer it to, or because of stringent regulation. This results in large amounts of waste. In Europe and North America, food waste per person is more than 10 times greater than in South America and South East Asia.
Changing consumer behavior can be arduous. While innovations like smart labeling – that allows products to stay on the shelf as long as they are fresh – can help. There is plenty of room for innovations that can change irresponsible consumer behavior and incentivize retailers to adopt less wasteful practices.
Reducing food loss in early stages of food production when combined with measures to reduce food waste at the retail and consumer level, can have a significant impact on addressing food scarcity and reducing the CO2 footprint of the food industry.