Sainsbury’s unveils the first ever Culinary Companionship Code to help Britons reduce food wastage

LONDON, 2016-Apr-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Shoppers could save over £100 a year just by turning their hand to matchmaking…for fruit and veg. Finding the perfect pal for parsnips or a life partner for plums could mean the difference between throwing out fresh fruit and veg and extending its life, according to Sainsbury’s.

Certain fruit and veg produce gases during ripening that can reduce the shelf-life of neighbours in the fruit bowl or veggie drawer. This leads to them spoiling quicker and often ending up in the bin.

The average UK family household wastes £700 per year* in food that could be eaten, but ends up being thrown out instead. Fresh fruit and vegetables contribute a significant amount with 20% of what is bought being wasted, amounting to £2.6 billion.

The first ever Culinary Companionship Code is part of the Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more campaign, helping Britons reduce food wastage. Compiled by Product Technologists, the infographic guides shoppers through a list of ‘perfect pears’ for example, berries and grapes are firm-fridge-friends, while pineapples and lemons are best together, at room temperature.

Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said: “Our guide gives new meaning to the word ‘Frenemies’, highlighting certain fruits, which just don’t get along!  Apples and watermelons are long-term enemies while bananas don’t play well with others and should be kept on their own. On the other hand, there are some more sociable fruits! Cherries are immune to the negative effects of the ethylene produced by others and can therefore be paired with a variety of partners!”

Name Perfect Match Shared Values
Berries Grapes Both need to be refrigerated immediately to prevent decay.
Onion Garlic Both like cool and dark places.
Cucumber Peppers Both need to be kept away from fruit as they are spoiled by ethylene. Keep in the fridge.
Apples Cherries Cherries aren’t affected by high levels of ethylene produced by apples. Store in the fridge.
Kiwi Avocado Both like to be on the counter top until ripe and then refrigerated to preserve.
Tomatoes Plums Storing in the fridge and bringing to room temperature before eating ensures best flavour.
Pears Storing these fruits at room temperature results in them sweetening. Premature refrigeration causes loss of flavour.
Carrots Beetroot/ parsnips All like to be refrigerated.
Cauliflower Broccoli Both like to be stored in the fridge and away from ethylene producing produce.
Sweetcorn Peas Both like to be kept refrigerated but will lose sweetness after a couple of weeks.
Potato Sweet potato Keep in a cool, dark and dry place away from fruit which produce high levels of ethylene as this will result in early sprouting.
Name Sworn Enemy The Beef…
Apples Watermelons Apples and watermelons both love to be in the fridge.  However, apples produce high levels of ethylene which turn the watermelons mushy.
Onions Potatoes Onions produce a low small amount of ethylene – so while they won’t have a major impact on them in terms of spoiling, potatoes are prone to being tainted with the onion flavour if stored together.
Banana ALL Keep away from others! Bananas will result in most fruit or veg ripening quickly and spoiling.

The Culinary Companionship Code is available on other tips to help waste less food and save more.

Helen White, Head of Love Food Hate Waste, says: “Storing food correctly to make the most of its shelf life at home is key to reducing the 4.2 million tonnes of good food that goes to waste from UK households every year. Families could make substantial savings each year simply by throwing away less food. Making what might seem like small changes to how you store food can make a big difference, for example keeping fruit in the fridge instead of the fruit bowl can help it to last longer.”

Paul Crewe adds: “Waste, and in particular food waste, is one of the most important issues facing us all today and we’re committed to making a radical difference across UK households and supporting our customers to waste less and save more.”


  1. Are your bananas on the turn? Why not bake them into banana bread? Or, for a quick solution, try mashing them down and adding yoghurt for a light pudding.
  2. If your spuds are starting to look a little sorry for themselves, turn them into delicious vegetable rosti cakes
  3. Over-ripe tomatoes may feel like they are ready for the bin, but in fact they are usually bursting with flavour. Add them into your spag-bol for a pasta dish that’s full of pizazz.
  4. Leftover leeks? Rather than waste them, whizz up a classic leek and pea soup!
  5. Sweet potatoes spoiling? Simply turn them into wedges for a healthy accompaniment to your evening meal.
  6. Combine aging cucumbers with Greek yogurt, a dash of lemon and some garlic and you have yourself a tasty dip.

More on Sainsbury’s efforts to reduce food wastage in the UK:

The Guide to Culinary Companionship is the latest from Sainsbury’s Waste Less, Save More initiative, following an investment of £1m in making Swadlincote, Derbyshire, an official test-bed of ideas and innovation to dramatically cut food waste by 50%.

Following a successful bid by the small market town against 188 other UK towns, the supermarket will be helping with a number of innovations that are designed to help the locals save £350 per household over the coming year.

The findings from the year-long trial will be used to create a blueprint for communities across the UK, so others can follow in the footsteps of Swadlincote.

Notes to editors

*Figures sourced from Wrap 2012


For corporate press enquiries please contact or call 020 7695 7295.


Sainsbury’s unveils the first ever Culinary Companionship Code to help Britons reduce food wastage

Sainsbury’s unveils the first ever Culinary Companionship Code to help Britons reduce food wastage