Sainsbury’s has given some of its customers “smart” fridges equipped with integrated cameras, allowing them to see which food items they already have at home.
Around 20 families in the Swadlincote area of Derbyshire are trialling the Bosch fridge-freezers - which can be paired with tablets and smartphones - as part of the retailer’s Waste Less, Save More initiative.
According to research by Sainsbury’s, a quarter of households waste £235 worth of food every year due to buying products they already have in stock, equivalent to a UK-wide bill of around £1.5 billion.
Paul Crewe, head of sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said: “Our customers tell us that despite best intentions, they often find it difficult to remember what is in their fridge, which can lead to them over-buying.
“With 4.2 million tonnes of food wasted each year in the UK we’re on a mission to help households plan their shopping better and reduce the amount of food they throw away.
“With our focus on finding innovative solutions we have teamed up with Bosch to trial their unique camera fridge which will give shoppers an instant view of the contents of their fridge whilst shopping.”
Swadlincote is being used as an “official test-bed” by Sainsbury’s for the six-month trial.
The chain estimates that fruit and veg are its most overbought items, with 38 per cent and 35 per cent of shoppers regularly stocking up on more than they need.
Milk, cheese and eggs complete the top five products that are most frequently over-bought.
The Bosch “Home Connect” appliances, which retail for around £1,000, also feature remote temperature control.