A tenth of all wedding food – equivalent to a food waste bill of almost £500 for an average celebration – is thrown in the bin, according to latest research.
Uneaten wedding cake and edible favours for guests, such as personalised chocolates and sweets, were the biggest contributors to Britain’s food waste mountain, with a quarter of couples admit they deliberately “over-cater” to ensure their guests don’t go hungry.
Saturday is the most popular summer date for weddings. However, new research from Sainsbury’s in conjunction with Wrap, the government’s waste advisory body, has revealed that on average, couples needlessly chuck out a tenth of all their wedding food – running up a food waste bill of £488. The average UK family throws away £700 in food every year, according to official statistics.
In the first detailed study of wedding food and waste it was found that couples splash out an average of £3,245 on food, £717 on the cake, £365 on edible favours and £558 on drinks. Wedding cake waste was increased by the tradition of keeping the top tier of the wedding cake for the first child’s christening. However, more than one in 10 (15%) couples admitted they eventually threw it in the bin rather than eat it. Meanwhile, 37% of guests admit they don’t eat their edible favours.
When it comes to the wedding breakfast, more than one in 10 (15%) said they rarely finished all three courses. Evening food and excess wine joined the cake in the bin. Almost a fifth (19%) said they rarely enjoyed a second round of food, choosing to dance and drink instead.
“With the wedding season upon us, we wanted to look at how a traditional wedding celebration contributes to food waste,” says Paul Crewe, project lead for Waste Less, Save More at Sainsbury’s. The £10m initiative offers practical ideas to help customers reduce food waste.
Is this the same for Christenings and Children’s Parties? Let us know…