The Breville FoodCycler has received a Shonky Award from consumer group, CHOICE, for being “wasteful, expensive and complicated”. Breville has responded to these claims, explaining how the product is helping reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill.

According to Breville general manager of global communications, Lucy Martyn, the CHOICE review of the FoodCycler misses the bigger point – “most of the world’s food waste is currently heading to landfill at significant cost and with grave environmental consequences”.

Martyn explained to Appliance Retailer: “We completely agree with the review that compost bins are a great option for dealing with food waste. However, the reality is that not everyone can compost, and the volume of food waste that makes it to landfill is evidence of that.  

“By focusing on this narrow comparison, CHOICE distracts from the more important issue. Every kilogram of food waste in landfill produces 1.3kg of CO2 emissions and most of this is methane gas, according to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). Even when powered by Australia’s predominantly coal-based grid, there is a net carbon reduction when you use the FoodCycler versus sending food waste to landfill,” she said.

Breville the FoodCycler.

CHOICE says it calculated the cost of the FoodCycler over five years including initial purchase ($499), energy costs ($86 a year) and replacement filters ($223 a year), equating to over $2,000. However, Breville believes the cost is misrepresented.

“A typical household running the machine three to five times per week will likely require filter replacements every three to six months so we can estimate this at $120 per year,” Martyn said.

“Based on an average power rate of $0.25/kWh and 0.8kWh per cycle four times per week, this equates to approximately $42 per year for a total cost of around $160 per year. The bucket lid filters do not require regular replacement.”

In conclusion, Martyn told Appliance Retailer: “We encourage those who backyard compost to keep doing so, but for those who can’t or won’t, this is a net gain for the environment and another option to consider.”

The Breville FoodCycler transforms household food waste into nutrient rich ‘eco chips’ using an intuitive three-stage cycle – drying, grinding, and cooling. The system pulverises and dehydrates nearly all types of food waste, reducing it to small particles, while simultaneously aerating and heating, which helps decompose and sterilise the waste.

The appliance is odourless, quiet, uses minimal energy and is easy to clean, with the ability to transform most fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, chicken and fish bones, cereals, dairy, eggs and shells, coffee grounds, filters and tea bags, beans, seeds and legumes, as well as pet food.