Ocado calls on kids to help bin the nation's food waste dilemma

Added: 9th October 2018 by Ocado

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  • Ocado and Little Inventors have joined forces to encourage Britain’s young brains to come up with an invention that can fight against household food waste
  • The winning idea submitted to Ocado.LittleInventors.org will be made into a real creation by the Little Inventors ‘Magnificent Makers’ team
  • After revealing near-zero food waste figures, the Ocado Food Waste Challenge is part of the leading online supermarket’s mission to help households tackle the issue

The Ocado Food Waste Challenge with Little Inventors is calling on all budding Edisons and Einsteins to cook up an invention idea that could help to reduce food waste in the home. Little Inventors is founded on the belief that children’s ideas are invaluable, and their uninhibited imagination can lead to some amazing and powerful inventions. All ideas to help avoid throwing food away are welcome without limits, whether wonderfully wacky or perfectly practical.

Suzanne Westlake, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Corporate Affairs at Ocado:

“This project is very close to our hearts. Food belongs in bellies, not bins, and tackling food waste is an important part of our goal to become the UK’s most environmentally friendly supermarket.

We take our responsibility as a retailer very seriously and, when it comes to reducing household food waste, we’ve developed initiatives such as the Product Life Guarantee to give customers more time with their food at home. Now we want to do even more to get the nation joining the fight and help households throw less food away - that’s why we’re launching our Ocado Food Waste Challenge with Little Inventors.

We’re really excited to get children and families thinking creatively about the issue. If we uncover something amazing, we’ll be looking to turn it into a fully functioning product and list it on ocado.com for our customers. Watch this space!”


The project comes after the UK’s first online-only supermarket released its near-zero food waste figures earlier this month at 0.02% - just 1 in 6,000 items - alongside its new Fight Food Waste platform. Determined to become the first supermarket with zero edible waste, Ocado already helps households throw away less food through its Product Life Guarantee, which promises to deliver products to customers with plenty of time to enjoy before expiry, and receipts that are arranged by Use By dates to help shoppers plan meals effectively.

However, with 7.3 million tonnes of food and drink being binned every year in the UK, the retailer is now hoping to uncover the next big idea to help customers to carry on the low wastage mission at home.

We can all be guilty of it, especially with everyday pressures and busy lives leading to unpredictable eating and limited time to cook. Long neglected bags of salad, gone-off milk and miscellaneous Tupperware contents are often left abandoned in our fridges until they are more dustbin than frying pan material – but an imaginative invention idea that could solve this real problem would do wonders for the environment as well as our bank balances.

According to leading waste charity WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme), some of the most common reasons for throwing food away include not storing it correctly or using it in time, preparing and cooking more than we need, and lack of planning. With the help of Little Inventors and its new Food Waste Challenge, online grocery retailer Ocado is eager to help the nation overcome these obstacles and rescue edible food from ending up in the bin.

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