Department of Management

Determinants of consumer food waste behaviour: Two routes to food waste

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Approximately one quarter of the food supplied for human consumption is wasted across the food supply chain. In the high income countries, the food waste generated at the household level represents about half of the total food waste, making this level one of the biggest contributors to food waste. Yet, there is still little evidence regarding the determinants of consumers' food waste behaviour. The present study examines the effect of psycho-social factors, food-related routines, household perceived capabilities and socio-demographic characteristics on self-reported food waste. Survey data gathered among 1062 Danish respondents measured consumers' intentions not to waste food, planning, shopping and reuse of leftovers routines, perceived capability to deal with household food-related activities, injunctive and moral norms, attitudes towards food waste, and perceived behavioural control. Results show that perceived behavioural control and routines related to shopping and reuse of leftovers are the main drivers of food waste, while planning routines contribute indirectly. In turn, the routines are related to consumers' perceived capabilities to deal with household related activities. With regard to intentional processes, injunctive norms and attitudes towards food waste have an impact while moral norms and perceived behavioural control make no significant contribution. Implications of the study for initiatives aimed at changing consumers' food waste behaviour are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

    Research areas

  • Food, Waste, Routine, Skills, Consumer behaviour

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