Asda Customers save £57 a year by reducing food waste

Asda is the first UK supermarket to prove savings for customers, as two million reduce food waste at home following a campaign with the University of Leeds

Asda has become the first UK supermarket chain to confirm how much customers have saved after launching a campaign to tackle food waste.

Working in partnership with the University of Leeds, the business has revealed that customer bank balances were, on average, £57 better off a year as they committed to cutting food waste in their own homes.

Announced today at a parliamentary reception, hosted by MP Hilary Benn, Asda explained that the positive customer behaviour change was driven by a series of actions developed in-line with its customer insight, combined with research conducted by the University of Leeds.


Award for Published Paper

Professor Janet Cade's paper was chosen to receive the award for the best RCT (randomised controlled trial) published in 2014 by the Journal and the award was presented at the national IJBNPA conference in Edinburgh in June 2015.

Christian MS, Evans CE, Nykjaer C, Hancock N, Cade JE. Evaluation of the impact of a school gardening intervention on children's fruit and vegetable intake: a randomised controlled trial. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2014; 11:99

New Leeds Institute for Data Analytics facility and collaborative research in health and human behaviour

Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) is bringing together applied research groups alongside data scientists in mathematics and computer science to open up unparalleled opportunities to understand health and human behaviour.  We are investing in a purpose-built and fully equipped facility with space for more than 40 academic and research personnel, to maximise benefits for collaborative research and engagement with external partners.  Building on existing facilities including a safe data room, advanced computational infrastructure, and a fully equipped training suite, the new space is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015.

Transformations to Sustainability

Professor Paul Routledge has been awarded a highly competitive network seed grant of €30,000 from the International Social Science Council Transformations to Sustainability programme.  The network, sited in the UK, USA, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh and New Zealand is investigating ‘resource sovereignty’ including food.

 Leeds signs Memorandum of Understanding with Jiangsu University (JSU)

The two universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding during a recent visit from JSU’s President Yuan Shouqi to Leeds.

A new collaboration between the University and Jiangsu University in China aims to establish a joint research centre for food reassurance which will seek to accelerate the development and application of food safety and sensing technologies and solutions.

Professor Malcolm Povey, who is leading the collaboration at the University, says: “We aim to establish a UK-China joint laboratory on remote and non-invasive, non-destructive sensing for food quality and safety, which will enable us to maximise the resources and facilities in both universities.

“This is a key strategic activity for the University, as we have many internationally recognised experts in areas related to food sensing – including ultrasound, passive acoustics, microwave, terahertz, medical diagnostics, robotics, and optical techniques. Together with our engineering expertise, we also have leading exponents of the data analysis necessary to deal with data from multiple sources and modalities, and supply chain control. In addition to the academic leverage it gives us, the collaboration with JSU also offers greater investment and capacity in industrial or commercial strength engineering.”

The visit coincided with a Food Sensing Technology event at Weetwood Hall on 10 November which brought together food manufacturers, retailers and technology providers to discuss how improved food sensing technologies can better address food safety and quality.

The event at Weetwood was a great success, with many different disciplines represented, including food manufacturers, major retailers, equipment and technology manufacturers, and other universities and research organisations, as well a strong representation from University staff and government bodies including the Food Standards Agency. Some members of the Jiangsu delegation were also present for a large part of the day. Several working prototypes were used to demonstrate how new technolgies would work, and we had a drone airborne in the garden. Other technologies on display included hard plastic detection in ready meals without compromising the integrity of the pack, another which measured the internal density of a turnip to identify whether brown rot was present, and one which can accurately measure the crisp or crunch of food such as a biscuit being snapped.

Later in the day, the audience was split into four groups and challenged to identify the biggest issue they wanted solving within an industrial context. Each group was led by a representative from industry, and this proved very lively with strong debate. Rapid, non invasive affordable technology to test for physical and microbiological contamination of food throughout the supply chain was the main outcome, and sets a challenge for the research base.

The feedback from the day was positive, with many delegates asking for more networking time and even a second day if a similar event is done again.


We are delighted to invite you to attend the 9th and final seminar in the FOOD series:

“Facing the Future of FOOD”

Tuesday 12 September 2017, 12:30-17:30 at Leeds University Business School, seminar room 1.32 (Maurice Keyworth Building, Clarendon Road, Leeds LS6 1AN)


  • Professor Hannelore Daniel, Technical University of Munich. Professor Daniel is Professor of Nutritional Physiology and leads an internationally renowned research group that studies the interplay of the genome with dietary factors using metabolomics. She will discuss the future of food drawing on and explaining how such techniques can help us to understand metabol(om)ic responses to our diets.

  • Adam Smith, The Real Junk Food Project. Adam Smith is a founder and co-director of the multi-award-winning, global initiative The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) that was set up in 2013 to revolutionise the disposal of avoidable food waste into landfill.

  • Professor Tim Benton, University of Leeds. Professor Benton is Dean of Strategic Research Initiatives at the University of Leeds. His research areas include: food security, food systems and resilience, ecology and natural resources, and climate change impacts.

  • Professor Louise Dye, University of Leeds. Professor Dye holds the N8 Agrifood Chair in Nutrition and Behaviour and is a Co-Investigator for the FOOD seminar series. Her research focuses on the effects of food and food components on health in particular psychological wellbeing and cognitive function and understanding the connections between diet, health, and behaviour change.

  • Professor Wandi Bruine de Bruin, University of Leeds. Professor Bruine de Bruin is the Principal Investigator for the FOOD seminar series and has research interests in decision making across the life span; risk perception and communication; health; and the environment.

Panel chair and discussant:

  • Jay Rayner. Jay is a food critic, journalist, writer, broadcaster and musician. Jay writes for the Observer and the Guardian and presents The Kitchen Cabinet for BBC Radio 4. Jay’s latest book “A Greedy Man in a Hungry World” is a highly acclaimed discussion of myths and realities of food culture.

Please join us for a buffet lunch, presentations by our international engaging speakers, a controversial and exciting panel discussion, and networking and informal discussion over a wine reception after the seminar.


To register for this event, please email Hannah Preston ( before Friday 1 September 2017. Please note that spaces are limited.

Travel Funds Available:

Funds are available to support participation in the seminar series. Priority will be given to PhD students and early career researchers, but everyone may apply. to request support for your travel to any of our remaining two seminars (2 June 2017 and 12 September 2017) please send a short justification of why you wish to attend, indicating which seminar(s) you are interested in attending (max 300 words) and an estimate of your travel costs, along with a CV to before Tuesday 22 August. Funds will be allocated on a competitive basis and you will be informed of the outcome asap.

The ESRC-funded seminar series Food Options, Opinions and Decisions (FOOD): Integrating perspectives on consumer perceptions of food safety, nutrition and waste has been designed by our team of practitioners and academics, and aims to identify strategies that help consumers to achieve nutritious food choices that both improve food safety and reduce food waste.

The seminar series has been designed by our team of practitioners and academics, with the goal of achieving the best impact. Our practitioner team members come from the Food Standards Agency which aims to improve food safety and healthy eating, as well as at the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which aims to reduce food waste. Our academic team members come from the University of Leeds Centre for Decision Research and the Human Appetite Research Unit who are experts in consumer food choice, domestic food waste, and risk communication, as well as from the Newcastle University Food and Society Group at the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development who are experts in food safety and risk communication.

Through nine seminars to be held over three years, which started in January 2015, we will create a lasting network of users and academics who have mostly been working separately on these different topics to date. We have confirmed academic and practitioner speakers from across the UK and overseas who are key experts in the relevant domains.

Seminars will be hosted at and promoted by participating universities and practitioner agencies, thus drawing diverse audiences.

If you would like to view some of the presentations and outputs from the previous seminars, you can view them in PDF or video format on the website

For more details about the project please visit