How many food $ do you toss out?

May 2014

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There are many wonderful things about working in PR and one of them is when the media - off its own bat - takes up a cause one of your clients is passionate about.

A case in point was a story out of Europe about the huge cost caused by cautious householders throwing out perfectly good food – in the region of £500 worth for each family. It is the result apparently of shoppers’ confusion about the difference between “use by” and “best before” food labelling.

We have the same problem in New Zealand – according to the NZ Herald, we ditch about $750 million worth of perfectly good food every year.

Pead PR’s eagle-eyed food team quickly spotted the potential for a “story-jack” – taking a story for the benefit of a client when it starts trending in New Zealand media.

Client Reduced To Clear has a goal of reducing food waste amongst other things by highlighting the difference between “use by” and “best by” dates.

Use by labels show the date by which a food can be safely eaten. They are for highly perishable foods. But best before labels refer to quality rather than safety - the food can be eaten after the ‘Best Before’ date as long as it has been stored properly and the packaging has remained unopened.

On reading the report from Europe, the Pead PR food team sprang in to action bringing together clients Reduced to Clear and the NZ Guild of Food Writers and pitching them to media as expert interview subjects on the topic.

The result: a cover story in The Weekend Herald’s Canvas magazine; Trudi Nelson, the president of the NZ Guild of Food Writers interviewed on breakfast TV; and two national radio networks and wide talkback discussion, all with Reduced To Clear mentions. The Guild also got a mention in the Herald.

Needless to say we are on the constant lookout for these types of opportunities for all our clients.

^DP