Department of Management

Convenience or price orientation? Consumer characteristics influencing food waste behaviour in the context of an emerging country and the impact on future sustainability of the global food sector

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

  • Jessica Aschemann-Witzel
  • Ana Giménez, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
  • Gastón Ares, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

The extent of food waste raises concern about its effect on natural resource use, food security and future sustainability of the international food sector. It is expected that emerging countries with a growing middle class will exhibit a similar extent and pattern of consumer-related food waste, which is disturbing given that food waste coexists with food insecurity. However, the topic is yet under-researched, as are potential actions against food waste. Through an experimental survey, individual consumer characteristics explaining self-reported food waste at home and choice of price-reduced suboptimal food otherwise wasted in stores were explored among a sample of 1124 Uruguayan consumers. Results showed that food waste was higher among price and convenience-oriented, but lower for value conscious consumers. Choice of suboptimal food was more likely for price-oriented consumers and less likely for convenience-oriented ones. Gender and age explained wastage and choice of suboptimal food. Perceived norms did not play any role, but perceived quality of suboptimal food had a major effect. For packaged foods, value consciousness decreased suboptimal food choice likelihood, while convenience orientation decreased the latter for fresh foods. Consumer price orientation impacted food waste when related to eating food waste incidents more than to storage food waste incidents. The findings show that convenience orientation is a driver of food waste behaviours both when shopping and at home. However, findings imply that tackling food waste requires context-specific consumer-targeted strategies: food market stakeholders should appeal to value consciousness in the household, and perceived quality and price orientation in the store.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Pages (from-to)85–94
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Consumer behaviour, Convenience, Food waste, Price orientation, Suboptimal food, Sustainability

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 121825394