Department of Management

Consumer perception and preference for suboptimal food under the emerging practice of expiration date based pricing in supermarkets

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Consumers have been found to majorly prefer ‘optimal’ food over ‘suboptimal’ when purchasing food. To provide
an incentive for consumers to select suboptimal food and thus decrease food waste in the supply chain, expiration date based pricing is suggested and increasingly applied. However, it is unclear which contextual,
individual, and product-related factors impact consumer likelihood of choice and thus acceptance of the practice
in the long run. The study aimed at exploring the effect of communicating different motives for purchase, the
product being organic, familiarity with the practice, individual preferences, and product-related factors. An
online survey experiment among 842 Danish consumers realistically mimicked the current market context.
Findings reveal that neither communicating budget saving or food waste avoidance nor the product being organic has an influence. However, there is a gender effect when the practice is communicated as a food waste
avoidance action. Consumer’s familiarity with the practice has a significant influence, as has the individual
giving importance to the price criterion, age, and education. Food category differences are explored, showing
that familiarity and the interaction with gender is observed for milk in particular. Overall, perceived quality and
estimated likelihood of consumption at home majorly determine likelihood of choice. Consumer acceptance of
expiration date based pricing of suboptimal food can be increased through furthering consumer familiarity with
the practice, improving perceived quality and providing tips to ensure consumers are confident to be able to use
the entire food at home
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Consumer choice, Expiration date based pricing, Food waste, Product perception, Retailing, Suboptimal food

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