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New study reveals Scots consumers and producers favour frozen food to combat waste

A nationwide study has today revealed that Scottish shoppers and producers alike are embracing frozen food in a bid to combat waste.

Published: October 12, 2015

The report is the latest indication of increased popularity of frozen food; last week retail giant Amazon announced an expansion into the sector with its Prime Now service promising ‘Fish Fingers in 60 minutes’.

More than half of Scots revealed minimising food waste was among their top drivers when purchasing from the frozen aisle, with waste food costing Scottish households £470 a year.

‘Convenience’ and ‘value for money’ also topped the polls, suggesting frozen food appeals to a new generation of shoppers who are increasingly price-savvy, environmentally conscious and work to busy schedules.

After vegetables, meat products are Scotland’s favourite frozen food, with just under a quarter of Scots naming sausages and burgers as the produce they were most likely to buy for their home freezer.

The challenge of reducing food waste is also being tackled by Scotland’s food producers.

Ayrshire-based family butcher business – ‘We hae meat’ – is a Scottish firm currently moving into the category with a ‘from farm to frozen’ vision.

Launching this week, their ‘cook from frozen’ range has secured the company a £60K deal with Scottish Asda stores.

Founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Alex and Carlyn Paton, ‘We hae meat’ are known for their award-winning chilled products including Steak Slice Sausage, black pudding and pies.

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Fourth generation farmer, Alex Paton, spoke more about developing a frozen range: “For years now, people have been enjoying our butcher shop quality produce from the convenience of their supermarket.

“Developing the new range is not only a natural next step but is also driven by the surge of consumer interest in the benefits of frozen and a desire to do our bit to reduce food wastage.

“Fresh from our farm to frozen, the range is completely free of artificial flavours and preservatives and is packaged in specially designed, space-saving resealable pouches.

"We believe this takes convenience to a new level, making it even easier to enjoy premium Scottish meat at a moment's notice without the pressure of it potentially going to waste.”

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The new range caught the attention of Asda Scotland, who are also working to help consumers reduce food waste.

Brian O’shea – Asda’s Regional Buying Manager for Scotland, said: "We are constantly working hard to reduce food waste in our stores and supply chain, and providing a wide variety of locally sourced, farm to frozen, products is a key way to help combat the amount of food thrown away by homes in the UK.

“The new ‘We hae meat’ range will be available for customers to buy in stores this week, and will give customers a local, convenient and Quality Assured choice in the frozen meat aisle.

"Feedback on the new range has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to continuing to work with local Scottish supplier such as ‘We hae meat’ to bring new tastes and affordable products to the frozen aisles for our customers."

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Ylva Haglund – Love Food Hate Waste Campaign Manager at Zero Waste Scotland – described the findings of the survey as ‘encouraging’:

“The results of this study are very encouraging and back up the Scottish Government’s recently announced figures – sourced by Zero waste Scotland and WRAP – the avoidable food waste across Scotland has reduced by almost 8% since 2009, with households saving around £92 million a year.

“The figures suggest that Scots are becomingly increasingly aware that food waste is a major issue and are doing their bit to tackle it.

“Freeze food is one of the easiest ways households can save money, reduce food waste and is a great way of making the weekly shop go further.”

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