Instagram generation cause food waste surge

Think before you snap...

A new study has found a generational divide in how millennials and older generations treat their groceries.

Research commissioned by Sainsbury has found a trend - shoppers under 35 are buying exotic ingredients which are hard to reuse to make dinners to impress their friends and followers.

"We are increasingly becoming a nation who ‘live to eat’, with those under 35 most likely to identify with this. While this desire for exciting foods might benefit the palate, as well as look great on our Instagram feed, it’s also creating a significant amount of waste as people purchase exotic and unusual ingredients without knowing how to use them up," the report concludes.

55% of these younger respondents say they 'live to eat' rather than 'eating to live' - that number drops to 33% for those over 35.

Meanwhile, 86% of millennials said they are guilty of buying ingredients they know they'll never use again.

Almost two fifths of those over 65 say they never waste food - compared to 17% of young respondents.

In the UK food wastage is believed to cost the average family £700 (€820) per year throwing away 7 million tonnes of food. 4.2 tonnes of this wastage is classified as "avoidable."

A survey commissioned by Aldi found that the average Irish shopper loses €400 a year due to food wastage.

According to the survey carried out by Ignite Research, just 13% of people never dispose of unused food.

People are most likely to throw away fruit and vegetables (44%), followed by baked goods and bread (28%), dairy (15%) and fresh meat (14%).