Food Savvy | Impact 2021 | Hubbub, Norfolk County Council, Suffolk Waste Partnership | Food Waste

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Food Savvy Impact Report YEAR THREE

Introducing Food Savvy

Our Purpose

Food waste is a national and global environmental challenge. UK households waste 6.6 million tonnes annually (4.5 million tonnes of which are good to eat). In Norfolk and Suffolk, this equates to 118,000 tonnes of wasted food across the two counties annually. WRAP estimates that the average household with children could save £60 per month if they were to reduce their avoidable food waste. Food waste also contributes to climate change. The greenhouse gases associated with food waste in the UK are the equivalent of those produced by 10 million cars. Food Savvy is a household food waste reduction campaign led by Norfolk County Council, Suffolk Waste Partnership and environmental charity, Hubbub. Food Savvy was launched in 2018 to help Norfolk and Suffolk reach an ambitious target of a 20% reduction in food waste by 2025. We use playful and thoughtful inspiration and communications to help households only buy what they need, and to eat everything they buy.




Contents Introduction


Executive Summary




Top Line Impact


Followers Survey


Year Three in Review


Summary of Learnings


Informing Year Four


What’s Next?


Get Involved



Introduction This report sets out the activities, impacts and learnings from Year Three (September 2020 – September 2021) of Food Savvy. Over the course of the year, we ran a series of communications, challenges, and quizzes to help our #FoodSavvy followers save food, money and time and take action for the climate. Our campaigns covered top tips for saving commonly wasted items such as bananas and bread, and used seasonal hooks including Halloween and Christmas to help households plan and save. We took the food waste message on the road with playful messages on council refuse collection vehicles and cast a light projection about milk waste onto the walls of Norwich Castle. With more people at home due to COVID-19 and the related lockdowns, we adapted our approach and kept many of our activities online. We shared a programme of tips and support which acknowledged that many people were financially stretched due to the pandemic, and that normal life continued to be disrupted. We were also responsive to an uptick in interest in food, and fluctuations in more sustainable food behaviours as households moved in and out of lockdowns.


Executive Summary


Food Savvy Impact to Date Years 1 - 3 821,000 people in Norfolk and Suffolk have heard of

Food Savvy

21 Food Savvy campaigns launched

75 waste busting events and workshops which 21,500 people have engaged with

100 partnerships with local businesses and other organisations

281 million opportunities to see Food Savvy in the media, including 50.5 million through local press

1000 people signed up to the Food Savvy newsletter, 74% have reduced their food waste

9,100 have logged on to the Food Savvy website


Executive Summary


Get involved The campaign is moving into a new phase in Year Four (September 2021 – September 2022). We have spent three years trialling a range of messaging and activities. Now our ambition is to take what’s worked to a mass audience across Norfolk and Suffolk and we need your help. How to get involved: Are you a Norfolk or Suffolk based resident, influencer, community organisation, business, or school? If you’re ready to get Food Savvy, there are many ways to get involved.


Get in touch to partner on an innovative new campaign for your business or community.


Engage your employees in the fight against food waste. Receive a tailored programme for your team.


Become a Food Savvy ambassador and help inspire others to take action.


Join the Food Savvy community by signing up to the newsletter, receive bespoke support and share your food saving experiences.


Get Food Savvy at school. Take on our free Fab Food crosscurricular resource pack or sign up for news of our kid’s competitions and activities.




Year Three: An Informed Approach For the third year of the campaign, we aimed to scale learnings and successes from previous years to reach a greater number of households and make headway against our 2025 ambition. We did this by:

Goal one

Stronger emphasis on digital campaigning with timely hooks, competitions, and digital communities

Goal two

Higher visibility of diverse local people and their food experiences

Goal three

Offering flexible and fun opportunities for employee engagement

Goal four

Increased use of paid advertising to reach more people

Our approach for Year Three required us to be responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic. We shaped the year’s activities in a context of our changing relationship with food, budgets, and shifting values. We did this by:


Bring new faces into the Food Savvy campaign, aiming to capture local stories which reflected people’s changing behaviours around food and share these at the county level amongst our local partners and networks.


Develop our communication strategy, targeting high-wasting households and trialling new ways of getting our Food Savvy messages out to the public. Campaigns were closely measured to allow for successes to be scaled. 4


Top Line Impact Over the course of Year Three:

5,281 people visited the Food Savvy website, and 603

signed up to the newsletter.

260,000 Norfolk and Suffolk residents saw

Food Savvy campaigns on social media (10 million nationwide). This created more than 195,000 interactions and 1,983 contributors.

We delivered six multi strand campaigns with 10 collaborations.

Generated 63 pieces of local media with an Opportunity to See for 16 million local residents. When we incorporate nationwide coverage, Opportunities to See comes to 21.5 million.

49% of residents had heard of Food Savvy by the end

of year three, an increase on the previous year’s figure of 11%.

49% of residents noticed an increase in how often

national media are talking about food waste (45% for local media).



Food Savvy Followers Survey In September 2021 we conducted more in-depth research on habits and practices with 145 people who are signed up to Food Savvy communications. We found that:

74% 20% Said that Food Savvy has helped to reduce their food waste

The amount of food they said they had saved


Environment and saving money continued to be the top two reasons for reducing food waste

Fig 1. Showing participants responses to the question, ‘how much do you feel you have been able to reduce your food waste?’ 30% I don’t waste any food 34% A little less 5% About three quarters less 24% About a quarter less

7% About half less

Fig 2. Showing participants responses when asked to ‘rank your motivation for reducing food waste in order of importance to you.’ (1= highest importance, 4 = lowest importance) The environmental impact of food waste Saving money My children want to reduce food waste and I want to support them My friends or family have reduced their food waste in recent years and I would like to do the same



Five food saving behaviours people have picked up from Food Savvy


now check their cupboards, fridge and freezer before shopping

35% 32%

now make regular meal plans

now feel more confident about what they can freeze

28% 26%

now use recipes from the Food Savvy website

now feel more confident about date labels


Year Three in Review





Year Three Activities This section illustrates the ongoing and one-off activities that helped Norfolk and Suffolk residents become more #FoodSavvy across Year Three. The campaign provided ongoing core digital communications including:

Food Savvy website

The Food Savvy Quiz

Packed with practical tips, recipes and videos for cutting waste while eating well.

Identifies ways for participants to cut waste based on their responses.

Year-round social media messaging

The Food Savvy Challenge

Messaging and assets for our campaigns including Pumpkin Rescue, Travellers Check, Community Fridge, Banana Drama were shared across Suffolk Waste Partnership, Norfolk County Council and Hubbub social media.

A month-long emailbased challenge offering tailored support to help households cut waste.

In addition, we ran a savvy calendar of oneoff events, installations, and activities from September 2020 to September 2021.



#FoodSavvy Newsletter Competition

We kicked off Year Three with a month-long digital competition which aimed to increase the number of sign-ups to our Food Savvy newsletter. The competition ran from the end of August through to the end of September with great results. Impact: The total number of subscribers over the short competition came to 508, 278 were local. This nearly doubled the number of people who signed up to the newsletter. 2,500 visits to the website with the competition page being the most visited page. We now have 1,000 plus subscribers for the newsletter. Building up our following is part of our Year 4 strategy. Learning: A selection of food saving prizes proved a good incentive for people to participate in the competition. Making sure the ask was simple and clear was key to ensuring that those who saw our social media posts followed through and took action to sign up. Due to its success, we will look at running the competition again. To ensure more sign ups next time we will put paid ad spend behind posts to reach a greater audience. with a focus on local engagement.




Newsletter Audience Growth Existing subscribers


Audience Change






Mar 20

Apr 20

May 20

Jun 20

Jul 20

Aug 20


Sep 20

Oct 20

Nov 20

Dec 20

Jan 21

Feb 21


#EatYourPumpkin (Pumpkin Rescue)

Every year a spooky number of Halloween pumpkins end up uneaten in the bin. The Pumpkin Rescue campaign shows simple ways to help people eat their pumpkins. We focused this year’s campaign on how to have a spookily safe, sustainable Halloween at home. Activities included fun ways to get kids involved, recipes for simple and delicious pumpkin dishes, live cook-a-long sessions with chefs and our first pumpkin competition. Impact: An increase in reach and followers to the Food Savvy social channels. Over 1,200 page views of the Eat Your Pumpkin campaign page and pumpkin recipes, and a significant increase in the amount of time people spent on the website. Learning: The hashtag #EatYourPumpkin provided focus for social media activity. We had a lot of well received content and we can build on this in the future. Focusing on kids’ activities brought families together to carve and eat their pumpkins, especially the Live Facebook session with Chef Nena Foster and her children.






6.7 million pints of milk are thrown away across Norfolk and Suffolk each year – equivalent to 148,000 bathtubs full! Venturing into new territory, Food Savvy Norfolk made a splash across Norwich Castle with our first ever light installation. Impact: Media opportunities to see 4.8 million. The campaign featured on TV News Anglia, Greatest Hits Norfolk & North Suffolk, That’s Norfolk TV, Heart Norwich, Planet Radio and Pollution Solutions online. 19,008 people saw the installation across the three nights it was live. 624 people stopped to watch the full reel and/ or ask questions. Social media reach, 111,391 and 29 contributors on Twitter & Instagram. This resulted in 56 newsletter sign ups and 419 visits to the campaign page on the Food Savvy website.


The #MilkSavvy installation was created in partnership with Ulf Pedersen

Learning: Creative and highly visual installation which trialled new ways of bringing our Food Savvy message to life with content that can be used again. The installation had a low carbon footprint, which meant no waste, no materials to transport and very little resource needed on the ground to run it. Using existing infrastructure and equipment reduces complexity and cost as well as picking a location which already had high levels of security. Opting for a light installation allowed us to engage the public on the ground at a time when gathering with others outside of our households wasn’t possible.






Christmas 2020 looked a little different for most people due to the pandemic, and our messaging reflected this. We encouraged people to try something new which would save money, time, reduce waste and bring people together. With people planning for smaller Christmas celebrations, Food Savvy content focused on flexibility. We inspired people to make creative homemade presents, ran a festive competition, helped people to plan ahead, and gave tasty ideas for leftovers. Inspiration for creative homemade presents came in the form of ‘the gift of taste’ including jam and chutney recipes and a few sweet treats for good measure. Impact: 1,000 subscribers received the #SavvyChristmas newsletter. 800 local people visited the website. And the most popular pages were the #SavvyChristmas page, Christmas recipes and the gift of taste pages. Learning: The #SavvyChristmas competition didn’t receive as many entrants as other competitions. In Year Four we will ensure the ask is even more clear and simple. Social media was awash with messages from businesses in the lead up to the big day, with many putting large paid ad spend behind messages. For Christmas 2021, we’ll explore putting paid ad spend behind star pieces of content to make sure our Food Savvy content has greater impact. 16


Driving Down Waste: RCV #FoodSavvy Makeover

2021 Campaigns

Food Savvy Suffolk explored different approaches to getting our messaging out on the ground. We considered ways to meet people where they were, and for many of us at that time, this was at home. We created playful, eye-catching signage for 25 refuse collection vehicles (RCVs) in Suffolk, focusing on the big waste items: bread, milk and bananas. Using the trucks allowed for a direct link to be made between food waste and the use of household bins. Impact: The newly made-over trucks have been making tours of local neighbourhoods since January 2021. Learning: The assets and templates are now designed, meaning we can use them again or share and utilise on other platforms. It was beneficial to keep them as timeless as possible to ensure longevity. The RCV trucks proved to be a worthwhile trial in exploring messaging options outside of social media. We will explore ways to assess whether seeing the messaging helps people to make changes in their own homes.





Food Savvy Unlocked

90% of us changed our food habits and 35% of us cut food waste during lockdown.*  Food Savvy Unlocked was a digital campaign to help people to stick with these new food behaviours. Residents shared their ‘savvy lessons from lockdown’ with the pull of a competition to drum up interest. The campaign launched alongside Love Food Hate Waste’s (LFHW) first #FoodWasteActionWeek. Using this as a hook to showcase how local people were acting on the wider global food waste issue allowed the campaign to get great traction and be picked up by local businesses. Impact: Food Savvy Unlocked received high engagement across our social media channels, with 282 mentions and a reach of two million. This led to significant increases in followers across both FoodSavvySFK and FoodSavvyNFK social channels. We saw a 36% increase in web visits on the previous month and time spent on the website increased. *State of the Nation’s Plate, How Covid-19 restrictions are changing how to eat. Hubbub Foundation, March 2020


Learning: Capturing and sharing people’s stories during lockdown helped to connect people at a time when many were feeling isolated. Building the messaging around insights gained from Hubbub’s 2020 polling where we asked how COVID-19 has changed people’s eating habits shaped our messaging. Our call to action was clear, simple, and built on positive food management behaviours whilst gently outlining the need to ensure that these habits stick. Launching Food Savvy Unlocked alongside LFHW’s first Food Waste Action Week meant that we had a partner who could help amplify our messages, engage with our content (retweet, share and comment) and have a good example of how people are willing to take action on a global issue in a local context.

Batch cooking is now my go-to, large batches of food are much more affordable, and leftovers can be turned into something new the next evening. Monday night’s beany chilli becomes Tuesday night’s enchilada bake. Debbie, Panxworth, Norfolk

” 19

Eating what’s in season and not dismissing frozen fruit and vegetables has helped keep the variety in what we eat. I’m enjoying making my food go further and am proud to do my bit for the environment. James, Hollesley, Suffolk




Home Run The Kitchen Edition

We inspired workers with tricks and tips to help them wave goodbye to waste. Colleagues were encouraged to compete in a range of fun food challenges. Games, a cook-along, pledge making and food discussions all aimed to bring teams together (online). We ran a trial with Suffolk County Council and Norfolk County Council colleagues with an aim of scaling what worked well. Get in touch if you would like to discuss opportunities to partner on a campaign for your organisation. Impact: Whilst take up for Home Run could have been higher, those who took part found the content engaging and beneficial.

“I enjoyed discussing ideas and sharing thoughts/ information with people leading the session and others.”

“I enjoyed the hands-on elements. Chef Nena was sharing great hints and tips.”

Home run participant

Home run participant



Learning: Restrictions had begun to ease by the time we were reaching out to businesses, and the session didn’t feel as relevant as many returned to the office. This is a reminder that contexts can change rapidly (even outside the pandemic), and we need to be agile and responsive. At a time when many were becoming tired of home working and experiencing online fatigue, it proved difficult to recruit participants and motivate them to spend more time looking at a screen. The session was held at lunchtime. Perhaps having the session before or after a Team meeting would have generated higher sign ups.

Chef Nena Foster





The Street that Saved

The Street That Saved was a month-long campaign, challenging two streets in Norfolk and Suffolk to go head-to-head. 20 households were given tools and bespoke support to reduce food waste in their homes. Participants attended challenges and joined a Facebook group which hosted quizzes, motivational content and a live cook-along. Two launch events kick started the month of activities in Lowestoft (Suffolk) and Thetford (Norfolk). There were opportunities for all participants to meet and ‘unbox’ their food saving kits, have a cycle on a smoothie bike, take pledges from a banana tree and have a go at a few food saving games. While there was different engagement between the cohorts, the campaign provided us with lots of learnings and insights into residents’ food behaviours in their homes. We built on community links in the area and participants then went on to be ambassadors and share what they learnt. Impact: The winning street made an average saving of £40 and 5.6kg per household, per month. That’s the equivalent of £485 and 67kg per year. The story was shared by BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Look East Evening News, Planet Radio. ITV Anglia, EDP online, Fakenham Times, Dereham Times, Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury, North Norfolk News, Norfolk County Council and East Suffolk Council.

I am now more mindful of food waste - the first week was really bad the last week much better! We had leftovers for dinner last night and I also made a big batch of soup and froze at least half of it. April, The Street That’s Saved Contestant





Learning: Prizes helped incentivise engagement, and county rivalry spurred camaraderie and a little healthy competition. Having two streets competing in opposition served as a good media hook, increasing uptake in the story and interest by the public. When engaging with new audiences, a clear message is really important. This will help to ensure that participants know exactly what they need to do. To deliver again we would need to provide for more face-to-face engagement from the start. A dedicated closed Facebook group helped keep the conversation alive, although this was resource intensive.





East Suffolk Cooking Workshops

Supported by Connected Communities we worked in partnership with East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council to run four cooking workshops led by Food Savvy influencer and local Chef Emma Crowhurst, who supported 20 elderly people to reduce their waste, learn new skills and meet others.

Over half of participants told us they had learned a food saving skill or behaviour during the session.


Summary of Learnings

Summary of Learnings Collaboration is key The insight and creativity that comes out of collaborations with local people, organisations and businesses makes Food Savvy unique and embeds it in the local community. We have worked with over 100 organisations since the start of the campaign. Partnerships with the East of England Coop, local chefs, and residents were instrumental in sharing Food Savvy messages at a time when many on the ground events were restricted and online became the new normal. To achieve our ambition of the scale and impact for Food Savvy, we will need to work with a greater number of partners to help spread the word far and wide.

Community matters Food Savvy Unlocked was borne out of community spirit, drawing on the stories from local people’s lockdown lessons picked up from their changing food habits. While there were varying degrees of engagement, the Street That Saved was another example of a campaign which was made possible by our connections with the community. It provided incredible insights into people’s food behaviours and homes and was a great example of the difference that can be made when people come together to take action. Healthy competition and street camaraderie spurred residents on and attracted media interest. Residents in Suffolk went on to save both food and money. The campaign can help bring diverse communities together to share and celebrate food saving successes.



The right message at the right time This year we used timely hooks of seasonal campaigns, events and on the ground activations to hook people in and then introduce them to Food Savvy and food saving behaviours. The Milk Savvy light installation at Norwich Castle and the RCV truck messaging of highly wasted items on the streets of Suffolk all brought the message to people where they were. Love Food Hate Waste’s brilliantly impactful campaign Food Waste Action Week was a good opportunity to showcase the local action we are taking on food waste in Norfolk and Suffolk.


Informing Year Four


Building on our research

Norfolk and Suffolk polling Autumn 2021

The food waste discussion is gathering pace in the UK. This is reflected in Food Savvy polling undertaken by Hubbub in Norfolk and Suffolk in autumn 2021 which found that:



said that food waste is a major cause of climate change (39% in 2020)

of respondents have noticed an increase in how often national media are talking about food waste (45% for local media)



said their local area was increasingly talking about food waste (compared to 26% in 2020)

said their community and friends were discussing the issue (a rise of 24% from 2020)


of respondents said they don’t waste much food (the same number as 2020)


now think food waste has more of an impact on climate change than single-use plastic (compared to 16% in 2020)


were concerned about food waste 30

What causes food waste at home?

45% 38% 38% 37% 37%

not using items before their use-by date.

due to plans changing at the last minute

make their portion sizes too big

buy more than they need

blame their children refusing to eat something



Encouragingly, people don’t like throwing away food:

46% feel sad...



31% feel angry...

42% feel frustrated...

...when they throw away food which could have been eaten

Top five most wasted foods: 26% Bread


Cooked pasta



Cooked rice


Leftover meals

Food Waste




Hands up who’s heard of Food Savvy We asked the public in Norfolk and Suffolk whether they were familiar with the Food Savvy campaign and brand, and how they were finding out about the campaign.

49% had heard of Food Savvy, an increase on the previous year’s figure of 11%. Those aged 25-34 were the most likely to have heard about the campaign (72%).  Those on lower incomes were the least likely to have heard about the campaign. 16% of those earning less than £25,000 were aware of the campaign vs. 76% of those earning between £65,001-£75,000. Social media remains the most common source of awareness (58%). Word of mouth is the next most (48%). Local media awareness has increased – in 2021 44% said that they had seen Food Savvy on local TV, 36% local radio, 42% local papers. More than double the previous year.


What’s next?



Food Savvy future There are various factors at play in the UK today that will shape the next phase of Food Savvy. A growing number of households are experiencing financial hardship and living costs are rising. On the other hand, insight gathered by Hubbub through public polling in Norfolk and Suffolk, and nationwide, suggests that the public is increasingly connecting food waste to the climate crisis and are willing to take action. In local polling with 2,000 residents in autumn 2021, 60% said that food waste is a major cause of climate change (39% in 2020). It is now both timely and urgent to share simple, accessible, and actionable information with the public on food waste to ensure this opportunity is seized. The campaign is moving into a new phase in Year Four (September 2021 – September 2022). We have spent three years trialling a range of messaging and activities. Now our ambition is to broaden the Food Savvy reach much further across Norfolk and Suffolk residents including targeting low income households who could benefit from food management skills to reduce food waste and save money. Financial and environmental motivations for saving food from waste appear to be of equal concern to Norfolk and Suffolk residents, and we will shape our activities around both motivations with a stronger emphasis on the environment than in previous years. We will target messaging according to concerns and motivations identified by different groups and reach them using their trusted platforms identified through our research. We will prioritise reducing barriers to action on tackling food waste by using simple, messaging around the easiest actions to take and share the messaging over extended periods to allow multiple chances for residents to see or hear and take action. And finally, we will partner with local employers, influencers, businesses, and organisations to expand the campaign and amplify our calls to action. 35

W H AT ’ S N E X T ?

How to get involved Are you a Norfolk or Suffolk based resident, influencer, community organisation, business, or school? If you’re ready to get #FoodSavvy, there are many ways to get involved.


Get in touch to partner on an innovative new campaign for your business or community.


Engage your employees in the fight against food waste. Receive a tailored programme for your team.


Become a Food Savvy ambassador and help inspire others to take action.


Join the Food Savvy community by signing up to the newsletter, receive bespoke support and share your food saving experiences.


Get Food Savvy at school. Take on our free Fab Food cross-curricular resource pack or sign up for news of our kid’s competitions and activities. Join us on the journey #FoodSavvy

Food Savvy Norfolk

Food Savvy Suffolk


About Food Savvy is a partnership between Norfolk County Council and Suffolk Waste Partnership, and environmental charity, Hubbub. Email to get involved