Norwegians throw away a shockingly 5 tonnes of edible food every ten minutes. We wanted to visualize this fact to create a stop-effect for our target groups, media, and the food industry.
The star of our campaign was a see-through box containing 5 tonnes of green food waste bags which made its debut at Oslo’s most central thoroughfare, Oslo Central Station. Norway’s Minister of Climate, Ola Elvestuen and Oslo’s city council, Lan Marie Nguyen Berg helped us launch our initiative on site with live coverage on TV 2’s breakfast show and TV 2’s News Channel. Tens of thousands of curious passers-by stopped to have a closer look and were shocked to learn that 355 000 tonnes of food are thrown away each year, and that 61% of this happens in peoples’ homes.
To strengthen the campaign, we joined forces with Matvett, the industry organization to reduce food waste. On the first day of the campaign, we could present new research showing what demographic groups who throw away the most, making it even more relevant to the media. Findus has chosen to focus on this problem as they are part of the solution to it. Statistics show that you can cut your food waste in half by using frozen food. This is thanks to increased durability and the chance to only take out what you need from the freezer.
To commit people we met on the streets, we gave them a chance to sign up for “The Findus Food Waste Promise” – a digital pledge containing advice on how to reduce food waste at home. – Reducing food waste is a simple way for everyone to contribute to reduced emissions, said Ola Elvestuen who praised the initiative and was the first one to take the pledge.
Findus takes action on their home turf also, and have signed the industry initiative to cut their own food waste in half by 2030. To encourage colleagues in the industry, we moved the food waste box to “Foodscape” at Norway Trade Fairs where the whole industry was gathered the same week.
The third and hitherto final stop for the box was Grefsen Skole, a childrens’ school in Oslo. Here, we teamed up with Matvett again and conducted an educational workshop. 70 children had brought food waste bags from their own homes this day, and together we emptied the content of the bags to have a closer look. Together with a representative from Østfoldsforskning (research institute), the children had a good workshop on what food that belonged in the bag, what could have been eaten, and what that could have been sorted differently. The whole event was presented at NRK Super as an important way to engage kids around food waste.
In addition to the stop effect the box created for thousands of people in the streets, on the industry fair and in the schoolyard, we made sure to bring the campaign to life in social media as well. To show how much we throw away in a whole year, we digitally put 71 000 boxes on top of each other, reaching out to space in a film that communicated our message to stop food waste.
The workshop at Grefsen Skole has been transformed into an educational programme, with film, presentations and a Kahoot-quiz, all freely available for other schools throughout Norway to utilize.
The campaign kicked off Findus’ focus on sustainability and has helped them create meaningful interactions with their target groups and important stakeholders. The campaign had a reach of over one million on social media, and the film itself has been seen by half a million people on Facebook. Several national news outlets covered the campaign, in addition to local and industry-relevant media.
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