According to the latest data, the 141 products and ingredients that have achieved Upcycled Certified certification are expected to prevent more than 703 million lb of food waste annually.
Upcycled products contain food that would have otherwise not gone to human consumption, according to a formal definition of the term co-authored by Harvard Law School, World Wildlife Fund, UFA, and others in 2020. Upcycled Certified is administered by a third-party certification body, Where Food Comes From, which ensures that every Upcycled Certified product and ingredient meets the Upcycled Certification standard.
The growth of the upcycled food movement parallels an uptick in consumer interest in sustainability and more eco-conscious food brands. According to a Mattson 2021 study on food waste, over half of consumers are more likely to buy after seeing the Upcycled Certified mark on pack.
The Upcycled Food Foundation is launching a series of commercials this year to promote Upcycled Certified products. The first products with the Upcycled Certified mark on packaging already are on store shelves.
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“Not only is Upcycled Certified a critical way for this burgeoning industry to track its impact,” says Eva Goulbourne, food waste expert and board president of Upcycled Food Foundation, “it’s also an effective way to educate an increasingly values-driven consumer base about the solvable problem of wasted food. Even better, it offers them an immediate and tangible solution when they purchase Upcycled Certified products.” According to Project Drawdown, preventing food waste is the most effective solution to global warming.
“Upcycled Certified has been even more successful than we imagined,” adds Turner Wyatt, CEO of Upcycled Food Association. “The products and ingredients that have gone through the certification thus far span food, cosmetics, personal care, and petfood, and are created by both small startups and global legacy brands. This represents a major shift in our consumer product and retail environments, because for the first time, consumers can help to prevent food waste every time they walk into a grocery store.”