Hellmann’s and Ogilvy Brazil auction a potato to raise awareness about food waste among the population
13 de noviembre de 2023

According to the United Nations, Brazil is the 10th country that wastes more food on the planet. U$11,6 billion are wasted every year, mostly at home.

Research ordered by Hellmann’s to Opinion Box shows that 8 in 10 Brazilians affirmed they had thrown food away in the last month. The study also identified that 53% of people say they avoid scratched, dented or stained ingredients when buying or eating food at home. Hellmann’s demand the research to better understand Brazilians’ behavior towards the subject, since fighting food waste is the brand’s main cause worldwide.

In Brazil, Hellmann’s leads the "Unidos Pela Comida" (“United for Food”) project in partnership with a philantech called Infineat. Running since 2021, Unidos pela Comida has already redirected more than a thousand tons of food from industry and retail sources that would otherwise go to waste and used it to complement more than 1.6 million meals that were distributed to vulnerable people.

To raise awareness towards the real value of food, Hellmann’s created, in partnership with Ogilvy Brazil, a social experiment that took place in one of the biggest auction houses of the country.

The idea, entitled “The Waste Auction”, aimed to show the real value of every single food, consisted of auctioning a potato that was going to be thrown away, with the starting bid of R$1630,00 - the average value a Brazilian family wastes in food per year, which is more than the minimum wage at the country.

Undercover actors made the bids, while hidden cameras captured the reaction of the public. A video of the experiment was released and instantly became news on TV, social media and got people talking about the amount of money wasted every year with food that is thrown in the bin in Brazilian houses. Hellmann’s PR efforts achieved more than 90 press clips, achieving an estimated reach volume of over 26 million people.

The potato was auctioned for R$ 100,000 and 100% of the money was donated by Hellmann’s to prevent food waste. And it also helped to raise awareness about “No waste Monday”, a movement that was also created by Ogilvy Brazil for the brand after the finding that Monday is the day when Brazilians are more prone to waste food at their houses. The campaign aims to help people to re-utilize leftovers from the weekend with delicious recipes that people can find at