Fridge Fails: Young Adults Individually Waste 364 Food Items A Year, By Accident

September 5, 2022
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Samsung UK teams up with TikTok Chef, Nigel Kabvina, to unveil how fridge remnants can be transformed into delectable dishes, just in time for Zero Waste Week (5th – 9th Sept).


LONDON, UK  – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd announced a new study, revealing that nearly a third of the UK waste food every week. This rises to more than half (52%) when it comes to Gen Z and millennials, identified as the most wasteful generations for not using up what’s in the fridge.


Nearly half of young adults admit to binning up to eight items every week, contributing to the growing volume of abandoned household foods. Many young adults prefer ordering takeaways (55%) or going out to eat (40%), even when there’s already something at home. Others will buy multiple ingredients for a specific dish only for them to be leftover (34%).


Almost 40 percent said they don’t realise the quantity they are cooking until it is too late, however for 31 percent, the problem starts at the shop where they don’t notice how much they’ve bought.  Around a quarter of young adults enjoy hosting home gatherings, but always have the nibbles lingering post party.


Despite having the most surplus fridge items, a quarter (25%) of young adults feel guilty for wasting anything at all. In fact, they are most eager to turn things around, with over 20 percent wanting more low waste meal inspiration and a quarter (24%) wishing they knew how to preserve foods for longer.


This comes as Samsung UK teams up with TikTok Chef, Nigel Kabvina (@sxmplyni), for Zero Waste Week (5th – 9th Sept), to empower young people to keep their foods fresh and make sure no items go unused.


The UK’s top 10 most abandoned household foods:

  1. Salad
  2. Bread
  3. Bananas
  4. Potatoes
  5. Cooked leftovers
  6. Carrots
  7. Milk
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Berries (raspberry, blueberries, and strawberries)
  10. Eggs


Nigel Kabvina, TikTok Chef, said: “It’s difficult to make the most of everything in the fridge before it goes off. Be it a blackening banana or wrinkly sweet potato, you would be surprised at how creative you can get with the foods you often find lingering at the end of the week. I’m excited to bring people on my Zero Waste journey with Samsung UK.”


Young adults will spend almost double the national average on wasted food, with £516 a year going to waste, compared to older generations who waste £156 on average. A third of Gen Z (34%) would also like to get more savvy with what’s left in their fridge to see how this can reduce their bill.


In fact, over half of Brits (56%) admitted they are more likely to try and keep the food in the fridge as long as possible, since the rise of inflation.


Nigel’s top ‘abandoned food’ hacks



Rearranging your fridge to put fruit and veg in direct sight line encourages you to eat it and regularly use it in cooking. Swap them over to the sauce and small jar shelf which you rarely use, as those products can last months. Also, if you have the Samsung Family Hub you can track expiration dates on items in and outside the refrigerator[1], via the ‘View Inside’ feature.



Purchasing some airtight containers or mason jars can really help keep your food stay fresher for longer, as most store-bought packaging won’t protect products from spoilage once opened. This will expand the life of your items and keep their taste in check.



If you have products like spring onion and baby lettuce about to expire, cut the bulb (bottom root) off and place in a small glass with some water. Replace the water every three days and within a week you will see a new fresh vegetable start to grow.



When you have certain fridge items about to go off, why not pickle it, ferment it or use it to infuse into some alcohol or brine. The acidity keeps it alive for longer and it steps up cooking by creating complex flavours. Try mushrooms infused with bourbon or strawberries pickled in distilled vinegar for a delicious addition to your salads.


Tanya Weller, Marketing Director of Home Appliances at Samsung UK&I, said: “The research shows a huge demand from young people on wanting to elevate their approach when it comes managing what’s in their fridge.  We’re excited to equip people with simple tools to lower their everyday food waste and show the role technology must play. For example, the Triple Cooling System built into our Family Hub[2]range allows precise temperature and humidity controls in each zone of the fridge, to help your food stay fresher longer.”


Stay tuned for more of Nigel’s ‘abandoned food’ recipes and hacks on the Samsung KX website.


[1] View inside your fridge from anywhere* built-in cameras which let you control the contents of your fridge at home or on the go, including automatically tagging expiration dates

[2] The Family Hub keeps different foods fresh and tasty in the optimal conditions

    • The Cool Select+ is an independently controlled compartment with five pre-set modes: Freeze, Soft Freeze, Meat/Fish, Fruit/Veggies and Beverage

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