Food Waste Data

Food Waste Data

Food Waste

Measuring our food waste accurately

Following our commitment in 2017, to cut our food waste by 25% per store by 2020, we felt it was more important than ever to make our food waste data publicly available. Not only does the data give us a clear understanding of how much food waste we produce, and where it comes from, it also helps our customers, suppliers, and a wide range of organisations that are all working to reduce food loss.

We’ve taken the industry best practice bottom up approach to accurately measure the total tonnage of food surplus and waste arising from our UK operations, using our detailed datasets of each unsold product and individual product weights.  This gives us a precise picture of the amount of food loss and where it arises.   For consistency and transparency our reporting approach conforms with the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW Standard). 

Cutting our food waste, despite rapid growth

Despite experiencing rapid sales and store growth resulting in an increased market share, from 4.6% to 5.1% between 2016 and 2017, we’ve reduced our total food waste by over 2%.  We’ve worked hard to improve our ordering processes and efficiencies in our stores and warehouses to focus on reducing food waste at every step. We’ve also increased the amount redistributed to our charity connections by 13%, following the roll out of our store level Feed It Back programme.

Taking business growth out of the equation, we have seen a relative 13% cut in food waste per average store area; a big step in achieving our goal of reducing food waste per store sq ft by 25% by 2020, against our 2016 baseline.


 FY2016FY2017FY2018FY2019FY2020% Change
Total Food Surplus (t)38,61737,70138,19640,42837,604-2.6
Food Surplus Redistributed (t)4695331,8501,4471,540+69.5
Food Waste to Anaerobic Digestion (t)38,14837,16836,34638,98136,064-5.8
Food Waste Per Store*47.741.437.535.732.4-32.1

*average store area

Food waste data

How we’ve calculated the data

  • As industry best practice we’ve invested in conducting a product based, ‘bottom up’, measurement approach to accurately calculate the volume of food surplus and determine where this occurs.  The calculation is based on total number of individual unsold food products multiplied by the product weight (excluding packaging);
  • Total food surplus and waste data has been calculated for our entire GB store and distribution warehouse operation for financial years 2016/17 and 2017/18;
  • Food surplus redistributed to charity is calculated based on average tray and pallet weights.  The volume collected is provided by charities and store level (back office) records.


  • ‘Food surplus’ - Unsold products, including inedible parts of food, that are intended for human consumption including drink. Food surplus can be generated from product damages, degraded quality, recalls, past its best before or use by date;
  • ‘Food waste’ – Any food surplus (see above) not redistributed for human or animal consumption and recovered or disposed via anaerobic digestion, composting, energy recovery or landfill.