Too ugly, but I love its shape: Reducing food waste of suboptimal products with authenticity (and sustainability) positioning

Roxanne I. van Giesen*, Ilona E. de Hooge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the societal change towards a more sustainable future, reducing food waste is one of the mostly discussed topics. One significant source of food waste is the reluctance of supply chains and consumers to sell, purchase, or consume products that deviate from optimal products on the basis of only cosmetic specifications. Yet, it is currently unclear how consumers can be motivated to purchase such suboptimal products. The present research suggests that presenting suboptimal products with a sustainability positioning or with an authenticity positioning can positively affect consumers’ purchase intentions and quality perceptions of suboptimal products. Two studies (total N = 1804) presenting suboptimal products with a sustainability positioning, an authenticity positioning, or no positioning under varying price levels reveal that especially authenticity positioning can increase purchase intentions for and quality perceptions of suboptimal products independent of the prices of suboptimal products. A sustainability positioning appears to work best when combined with a moderate price discount. Moreover, the findings show that respondents have lower intentions to waste suboptimal foods when a clear positioning is provided compared to when this is not provided. Together, these findings provide a constructive first step towards a more sustainable solution for the suboptimal product waste problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume75
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Authenticity
  • Food waste
  • Marketing strategies
  • Pricing
  • Suboptimal products
  • Sustainability

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