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Why do consumers throw bread and cakes away? From May 2011 newsletter

Why do consumers throw bread and cakes away?

Of the 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink wasted in the UK each year, nearly 800,000 tonnes is bakery waste. Research that we carried out for WRAP, the Waste & Resources Action Programme, has generated insights and recommendations that can help consumers to reduce bakery waste. Peter Burgess explains:
"This project comprised two elements. Firstly, extensive consumer research was undertaken to investigate consumers' attitudes, motivations and behaviour around buying, storing, using and throwing away bakery items. Subsequently, a trained panel assessment, combined with a consumer product test, sought to identify whether the sensory properties of sliced bread over its shelf-life have a relationship with respondents' bread disposal patterns, and reasons for throwing bread away.
The findings showed that there is an opportunity to re–emphasise to consumers the importance of correct storage for bread (to ensure that it stays at its freshest for longer) and challenge preconceived notions of a three to four day shelf–life.

The report can be accessed at

Contact: Peter Burgess
+44(0)1386 842139