Did you know that an estimated 38% of the US food supply goes unsold or uneaten? This June 24th, in partnership with the Upcycled Food Association (UFA), we celebrate National Upcycling Day, highlighting the innovative yet practical solution to food waste: upcycling.
Upcycling is the process of using ingredients that would otherwise go to waste and are procured and produced sustainably. As the only nonprofit food industry association dedicated to catalyzing the upcycled economy, UFA has made significant strides since its launch in 2019. From nine member companies, UFA has grown to include 260 companies spanning CPG brands, ingredient suppliers, distributors, and retailers. Together, they aim to prevent food loss and waste across the entire supply chain.
To provide assurance and promote sustainability, UFA introduced the Upcycled Certified® program in 2021. This certification guarantees that upcycled ingredients and products align with global goals to reduce climate change and prevent waste. Within just two years, over 421 products and ingredients have earned the Upcycled Certified® mark, diverting a staggering 1.6 billion pounds of food from waste.
The growing consumer familiarity with upcycling is evident, with a recent study revealing that 61% of natural channel shoppers now recognize the concept. Consumers are increasingly willing to invest in products that help combat food waste. The market for food waste-based products is projected to exceed $80 billion within the next decade, signaling its immense potential and growth, according to Future Markets Insight.
This rapidly growing market will be on full display at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City from June 25th to 27th. UFA is hosting the first-ever Upcycled Food Pavilion, showcasing companies like Barnana, Confetti Snacks, Renewal Mill, The Spare Food Co., and TBJ Gourmet. Attendees will also have the opportunity to savor an exciting upcycled menu at Brooklyn Brewery on June 26th, including Fornino’s wood-fired upcycled pizza and upcycled ice cream flavors.
“By reimagining food surpluses, byproducts and sidestreams, the food value chain has an enormous opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint, conserve natural resources, and build a more resilient food system while also meeting the growing consumer demand for more nutritious, delicious and sustainable products,” says Angie Crone, CEO of UFA.