Save near-expired food: Does a message to avoid food waste affect food purchase and household waste prevention behaviors?

Yi Zhang*, Erica van Herpen, Ellen J. Van Loo, Mario Pandelaere, Maggie Geuens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Food waste, especially at the retail and consumer level, is a critical societal issue. Consumers' reluctance to purchase and consume near-expired food is a major contributor. Retailers have taken actions to promote near-expired food; however, it is unclear how their actions influence both purchase and consumption of near-expired food. This research examines one retail strategy aiming to reduce food waste—a message about food waste avoidance (without discounts). Specifically, four experiments (N = 1196) using various measurements of food waste prevention behaviors and one single-paper meta-analysis reveal that a message about food waste avoidance increases consumers’ willingness to buy near-expired food through increased moral satisfaction. After purchasing near-expired food, consumers engage in more waste prevention behaviors for it than for other food regardless of whether consumers encounter the food-waste-avoidance message. In addition, we find indications that increased moral satisfaction deriving from the food-waste-avoidance message motivates consumers to conduct more household waste prevention behaviors for the purchased near-expired food. Together, these findings suggest that a message about food waste avoidance can be a potentially effective strategy to reduce the waste of near-expired food. This research extends our understanding of the purchase and consumption of near-expired food and supports retail messages about food waste avoidance to sell near-expired food.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135555
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume384
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Food waste
  • Marketing strategies
  • Messages
  • Moral satisfaction
  • Near-expired food
  • Waste prevention behaviors

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