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Typology of university students regarding attitudes towards food waste

Blazenka Knezevic (Department of Trade and International Business, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb , Zagreb, Croatia)
Natasa Kurnoga (Department of Statistics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb , Zagreb, Croatia)
Ivan-Damir Anic (Department for Innovation, Business Economics and Business Sectors, Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 17 September 2019

Issue publication date: 23 October 2019

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956

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge, awareness and concern of young consumers towards avoidable and “edible” food waste, and identify groups of individuals based on their attitudes. In addition, this study describes demographic and behavioural characteristics of each group.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected by a questionnaire conducted among university students in Croatia. Factor and cluster analyses were applied to identify the groups of individuals with similar attitudes towards food waste.

Findings

Results show that there are five factors that represent the knowledge, awareness and concern about food waste of young people – awareness of food waste problem; concern about economic aspects of food waste; health concern; concern about environmental impact of food waste; and awareness and concern about expiration date. Based on those factors, four groups of consumers were identified: consumers concerned about economic effects of food waste; unaware consumers neglecting food waste; well-informed consumers; and fully aware consumers, but not ready to take health risk.

Practical implications

The results of the study can be used by marketers and policy makers when planning food waste reduction activities to focus their campaigns towards consumer niches, based on the typology of young consumers.

Originality/value

This study provides a typology of university students based on their knowledge, awareness and concern about food waste in Croatia, as an example of a transition and new EU member state, where the issues about food waste are relatively new and underexplored topic.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research has been supported by Croatian Science Foundation under the project UIP-2014-09-4057 Potentials and obstacles of Social Supermarkets Development in Central and Eastern Europe.

Citation

Knezevic, B., Kurnoga, N. and Anic, I.-D. (2019), "Typology of university students regarding attitudes towards food waste", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 11, pp. 2578-2591. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-05-2018-0316

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited