Most households in Cyprus tend to buy more food than they need, according to the results of the 2nd FoodPrint Pancyprian Food Waste Survey, but consumer habits in relation to buying, preserving and consuming food are showing improvement.

“Compared to a similar survey conducted two years ago, the improvement includes, among others, feelings (remorse), perception of environmental costs and loss of money when throwing away food, while behaviour is influenced by many exogenous factors, such as the pandemic,” it said.

Cypriots, it adds, “still believe they have enough and do not manage their leftovers properly”. They also need more knowledge and awareness of how they assess the costs they cause by wasting food,” the survey said.

The survey was presented at an online event by Kyriakos Parpounas, CEO, Parpounas Sustainability Consultants, a partner in the FoodPrint campaign.

The survey on food waste was conducted in the period May 11-13, 2022.

The survey also showed that when buying and consuming food, the most common behaviours of Cypriot consumers are the checking of the expiry date of food (95 per cent of participants responded positively), paying attention to how food is stored (90 per cent) and making a list before visiting supermarkets (89 per cent). All three of these habits, it added, help to reduce food waste.

One of the least common behaviours in Cyprus was using leftover food to prepare another meal (52 per cent).

The results found that 63 percent of respondents said they buy only what they need and 65 per cent said they like to stock up at home. Of those, 33 per cent state they do both from time to time.

According to the survey, most households tend to buy more food than they need. When asked why they buy more food than they need, most respondents said they prefer to stock up in case something happens (43 per cent), feel secure when there is a lot of food in the house (34 per cent) and want to be prepared for visitors (33 per cent). Only 26 per cent said they do not buy more than they need.

The survey covered 551 people aged 18 and over who are either responsible for food shopping or food preparation in their household. The geographical distribution of the sample corresponds to the actual distribution of the population.