Dole uses trash to fight hunger, support waste reduction

L&C NYC’s campaign ‘Malnutrition Labels: Food Waste’ sheds light on food waste statistics.

A third of Americans admit they don’t make an effort to reduce food waste at home, according to a consumer survey released by the Dole Sunshine Company. 

It’s a staggering statistic that shows consumers need encouragement to reduce food waste, which ultimately impacts food insecurity. On Wednesday, Dole announced the second phase of its campaign “Malnutrition Labels,” with a new out of home advertising initiative, “Food Waste,” to bring awareness to the issue.

The campaign, which rolled out during Hunger Action Month in September, placed informative labels about food waste around New York City on big belly smart waste and recycling bins, trash bags, trash bins and waste removal trucks. 

Facts included “In New York state, food makes up about 18% of all waste” and “1 in 6 children in the state face food insecurity. “

L&C NYC, which created the campaign, wanted to incorporate trash with the creative because it's an unavoidable part of life in New York City. 

“We thought this was the perfect place to place the message because we're going to make people stop and think in front of the trash,” Gian Carlo Lanfranco, co-founder and chief creative officer of L&C NYC, told Campaign US. “The key is using simple media and giving value to something that we normally ignore every single day. It makes passersby stop, think and then make little actions at home to change the way they dispose of food.”

Each label invites people to #ChangeTheFacts at MalnutritionFacts.com by making simple changes at home or donating to City Harvest, New York’s largest food rescue organization. Dole also released a Zero Waste Guide which includes tips, recipes and tools to help consumers combat food waste at home. 

“Our end objective is to create enough awareness, conversation and action around the world, where the Haves are wasting 1/3 of the food we grow,” said Rupen Desai, global chief marketing officer at Dole. “Meanwhile the Have-nots are suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition. We live in a world that can feed everybody. And yet, almost a billion people are going to go hungry.”

Dole’s partnership with City Harvest will also rescue and deliver more than 280,000 pounds of food to New Yorkers in need through production donation and funding. The fruits and vegetables company also created recipes with City Harvest’s Junior Food Council ambassadors and chefs Madeline and Anna Zakarian, who are also the daughters of Food Network chef Geoffrey Zakarian. The recipes promote food waste reduction and healthy eating.

In 2020, Dole announced “The Dole Promise,” a pledge to make nutritious foods accessible to 1 billion people, and to move toward zero fruit loss and zero fossil-based plastic packaging by 2025 and net zero carbon emissions by 2030. 

As part of that promise, Dole launched the “Malnutrition Labels” campaign in February by projecting labels on buildings in New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore, that shared facts on food insecurity, obesity and how good nutrition raises awareness about systemic food inequity. 

Dole chose New York City for the “Food Waste” activation partly because the city is known for its trash, said Desai. But the company is looking forward to expanding the campaign into other cities.

The initiative doesn’t just end with Dole. Desai is open to working with other retailers like Kroger, Unilever and Procter & Gamble to put their logos on every piece of media Dole buys for the campaign. 

“This is a free invitation for every company interested,” said Desai. “We're willing with open arms. Because together we can make a much larger difference.”

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