On 8th April, Bakery & Snacks magazine published an article featuring research from the food waste-minimisation specialist Too Good to Go. It highlighted the alarming levels of waste produced within the bakery sector and identified some of the principal reasons why foods get thrown away uneaten.
According to the research, 33% of respondents reported that the short shelf-lives of their products “play a big role in waste” and a further 31% reported that losses were often due to weather-related changes in demand. In effect, when demand dips, products with shorter shelf-lives often have to be discarded if they cannot be safely stored.
From these findings, it seems that poor shelf-lives are a factor in well over half of all cases of food waste. Worryingly, the research also suggested that over 70% of bakery businesses have no stock management in place to reduce food waste.
Commenting on the findings, Simply Doughnuts MD Shiraz Master said: “If these figures are even close to the truth, they indicate a shocking level of waste within the industry as a whole.
“Businesses could and should be doing more. They can start to address the problem by investing more R&D effort into developing longer shelf-lives for their products. This was our ethos from day one, and it’s been a cornerstone of our success ever since. Retailers are increasingly aware of the need to minimise waste, so it’s short-sighted of any manufacturer to ignore the issue.
“Even worse is the idea that fewer than 30% of bakery businesses have any significant waste minimisation policies in place. Waste isn’t just bad in social and environmental terms; it’s also a direct cost for any business, so it’s astonishing that so few businesses are treating it seriously. The challenge of minimising food waste is only going to attract more attention in the coming years and the winners are going to be the manufacturers that do the most to address it.”
Based on feedback from major retail clients, Simply Doughnuts products achieve some of the lowest food waste scores in the industry. The company has also worked closely with the environmental specialist ENWORKS and other consultants to identify numerous ways to reduce food waste, water-use and energy consumption across all its manufacturing operations.
The company’s efforts to reduce waste and to extend shelf-lives have been the basis for its numerous awards in recent years, including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation category) and, most recently, the Bakery Manufacturing Company of the Year in the 2021 Food Manufacture Excellence Awards.