Pinterest and The Ad Council Are Taking Aim at Wasted Food

Up to 40 percent of food is wasted in the U.S. on an annual basis, at a cost of $218 billion

Nonprofit organization The Ad Council is teaming up with Pinterest on a series of public-service campaigns.

The series will begin with a public-service announcement promoting the “Save the Food” campaign from The Ad Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council, aimed at curbing food waste.

Pinterest head of marketing communications and industry relations Eric Edge said in a blog post that up to 40 percent of food is wasted in the U.S. on an annual basis, at a cost of $218 billion after factoring in water, energy, fertilizers, land and production.

Edge added that this issue costs the average American family $1,500 per year, and that the average American throws way 24 pounds of food each month.

Ideas for the Save the Food campaign came from a brainstorming session with marketers and creatives at last year’s Pinstitute, a Pinterest-hosted event for inspiration and learning, according to Edge, who added that the campaign launched this month using the social network’s advertising tools including Promoted Pins and Cinematic Pins.

Pinterest head of global partnerships Jon Kaplan, who joined The Ad Council’s board last year, said in the blog post:

We’re excited to work with The Ad Council and use our reach and unique consumer insights to drive awareness and engagement for this campaign.

The Ad Council president and CEO Lisa Sherman added:

Pinterest inspires people every day to rethink food—and now they’re rethinking food waste, thanks to this incredible new partnership. We’re thrilled to kick off the first of many collaborations with Pinterest to show users just how uniquely aspirational social good can be.

And NRDC senior scientist Dana Gunders said:

From smarter storage hacks to use-it-or-lose-it recipes, reducing food waste can be surprisingly fun. Not only is wasting food expensive, but the environmental impacts are staggering—from massive amounts of water and farmland, to unnecessary climate pollution. The more people get creative and share their pro-tips, the more food we can keep on our plates and out of the trash. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.