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"The road to food waste is paved with good intentions": When consumers' goals inhibit the minimization of household food waste

Author:
Ada Maria Barone, Silvia Grappi, Simona Romani
Source:
Resources, conservation, and recycling 2019 v.149 pp. 97-105
ISSN:
0921-3449
Subject:
adults, food waste, healthy diet, interviews, models, public policy, risk, Italy
Abstract:
Despite their generally negative attitude toward food waste, consumers often pursue goals that can inhibit their intention to reduce food waste. Identifying these goals that inhibit consumers’ intention to reduce food waste is essential for the development of successful public policy and retail approaches designed to curb or reduce household food waste. First, we conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews (N = 110) aimed at identifying the consumers’ main goals conflicting with their attitude toward food waste. Four main conflicts emerged as relevant in consumers’ minds: being a good provider, concerns over possible health risks, healthy diet, and saving money. We then ran a quantitative study on adult consumers (N = 163), aimed at testing an extended Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model with the inclusion of such conflicting goals as additional predictors of the consumers’ intention to reduce food waste. Both studies were conducted in Italy. Results show that three out of four conflicting goals – being a good provider, concerns over possible health risks, and healthy diet – together with attitude and subjective norms, significantly affect the intention to reduce food waste. In turn, the intention to reduce food waste negatively affects food waste behavior. This study contributes to research on food waste by identifying additional and previously neglected predictors of the intention to reduce food waste. In turn, these results provide evidence of the existence of other valuable entry points to use for the design of successful interventions aimed at reducing household food waste.
Agid:
6455699