The Brief: Create a product, service or organisation to help tackle the problem of food waste in a simple and achievable way, focusing on reducing the amount of food thrown away by supermarkets.
Supermarkets are a massive contributor to food waste, throwing away 400,000 tonnes of food every year. A massive proportion of this waste consists of food that has passed its display until date, despite still being perfectly safe to eat. I wanted to find a way to reduce the amount of food wasted, and change consumers attitudes to display until dates so less food is thrown away when it is still safe to eat.
I came up with the idea of branding a restaurant which used this food to create meals, rather than letting it go to waste. Supermarkets could donate any food that had passed its display until date, which could then be used in the restaurant. I thought a pop-up restuaurant that travelled around the country would work well, as it would help change consumers attitudes to this food, raise awareness of the problem, and reduce the amount of food wasted.
I decided to call the restaurant The Food Bin, to hint at the idea of waste without making it sound uninviting. The slogan, What a load of rubbish!, will be used as part of an advertising campaign to help change consumer attitudes towards best before dates on food in supermarkets.
One of the foods that creates the most waste is bagged salad, and so I used this as inspiration for the visual identity of the restaurant, using colours and shapes inspired by salad. As it is called The Food Bin, and is a pop-up restaurant which would travel around, I thought it would be fun to make the restaurant look like an actual food bin.
Below you can see how The Food Bin would look when it is open to customers. Upturned bins would act as tables for people to eat on and there would be a big blackboard listing the menu as it would change on a daily basis depending on what food has been donated by the supermarkets.
The restaurant identity could be easily transferred onto cups, plates and napkins. I decided to cover the napkins in the illustration I created from bagged salad. When a customer has used a napkin and scrunched it up, it will then look like a lettuce again. This communicates the beliefs of the restaurant about turning waste into food. Inkeeping with The Food Bin’s values regarding sustainability, all these elements would be recyclable.
A lot of the food donated by supermarkets is likely to be vegetables, which could easily be made into soups and preserves. I thought it would be nice if The Food Bin sold some of these products they had made for people to use at home. Using mini dustbin lids for the tops of jars and cans, and mini bin bags as plastic bags for customers helps communicate the message of waste and what they can do to help reduce it by purchasing food from The Food Bin.
I wanted the advertising campaign for the restaurant to centre around changng consumer attitudes to best before dates on food. This is in the hope it would help make a long term change in attitudes towards display until dates as well as reducing the problem of food waste.
The logo for the advertising campaign would be made into a sheet of stickers. Anyone who buys something from The Food Bin gets a sheet of stickers, that they can then go and stick on any food products in shops and supermarkets which they think have unrealistic best before dates, that would lead to the food being thrown out too early. When these stickers start appearing in the community, they will raise more interest in the restaurant and the issue of food waste.
The stickers on their own would not lead consumers to the restaurant. Adverts and signs would also be placed in supermarkets so consumers link it back to The Food Bin. Although this project is not aiming at a specific supermarket, Tesco have done a lot recently to help reduce the amount of food they waste so I think they would be most likely to help with this campaign.
As well as advertising in supermarkets to change attitudes towards best before dates, it is important to advertise the restaurant in the local town so people know when it will be ‘popping up’. Using the tagline, ‘the tastiest bin you’ll ever eat from’, it creates an intriguing message that will make the public want to go and find out more about The Food Bin. These posters can be adapted to different towns by writing the town name and date the restaurant is arriving in the box at the bottom.