Half of those questioned said they are prepared to pay more for longer lasting berries, 53% up to 5p more, and 29% up to 10p more.
Of 2002 consumers surveyed, 50% admitted to discarding up to a quarter of the berries they purchase, and 51% were not surprised by these high levels of waste.
This led to 76% of people being interested in a way of keeping berries fresher for longer, according to ItsFresh!, which develops solutions for food freshness.
32% stated some of their berries go to waste after purchase, with 93% claiming this was because the berries ‘went off’ before they had a chance to eat them.
ItsFresh! said its technology uses ethylene adsorption technology with a blend of minerals and clay, sealed into a food-grade sheet, which can be inserted into bulk and retail fresh produce packaging at the pack-house.
Simon Lee, director of It’sFresh! said industry can’t afford to lose focus on the problem of food waste.
“Fresh produce represents 29% of avoidable food waste, and the International Development Committee has recently called for sanction-backed food waste reduction targets.
“Will the prospect of potential regulatory pressure force growers and retailers to step up their waste-reduction efforts, for example by hastening their adoption of technologies such as It’sFresh! that can keep berries fresher for longer in the home?”
Reduced sales caused by spoilage are a clear and present problem for berry growers, said the firm.
Evidence from the survey indicates high spoilage levels have already deterred some shoppers from buying berries: 5% of the sample claiming they don’t buy berries anymore due to concerns over perishability.
Almost a quarter (24%) of consumers surveyed admitted that deterioration makes them less likely to buy berries from the same place again.
However, 74% of consumers said that if their berries could be kept fresher for longer, it would encourage them to buy more packs, more often.
Dr Chris Bishop, a postharvest scientist from Writtle College, said: “Consumers have become desensitised to berry waste in the home: 30% of those who were surveyed, and half of those who threw away some berries every month, accept that their berries go off—it should be 0%.
“With technologies now available to take greater care of berries along the supply chain and thus provide greater freshness and longevity, there’s a golden opportunity for industry companies to be good corporate citizens while also helping consumers reduce what they discard.”