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Household food waste reduction: Italian consumers’ analysis for improving food management

Giustina Pellegrini (Department of Economics, Universita degli Studi di Foggia, Foggia, Italy)
Sandro Sillani (University of Udine, Udine, Italy)
Mario Gregori (Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Universita degli Studi di Udine, Udine, Italy)
Alessia Spada (Universita degli Studi di Foggia, Foggia, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 16 May 2019

Issue publication date: 7 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Every year 1.3bn tonnes of food are lost or wasted in production, manufacture, distribution and at household level. Consumers are the biggest contributors to the total volume of food waste generated over the world. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the factors affecting consumer’s food waste behavior at household level, providing more insights to existing literature, basing on a hypothesized model.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection was carried from May 2016 to March 2017, by means of a face-to-face structured questionnaire distributed among 580 Italian consumers, with seven constructs. Data analysis included two main steps: exploratory factor analysis and structural equation model (SEM) implemented by means of STATA 14.

Findings

Results show that price consciousness, environmental concern and time management influence the attitude that in turn affect the behavior toward food waste minimization. These findings provide basic guidelines for developing policies and campaigns aimed to decrease food waste.

Research limitations/implications

This study point out the importance of the food waste behavioral determinants analysis at household level in Italy. Therefore, the research will include other constructs and further studies can be conducted in European countries to produce spatial SEM.

Practical implications

Waste prevention approaches should concentrate interests on avoiding losses, and releasing of information, best practices and education of consumers as well as strengthening the donation to social services.

Social implications

The present findings may be used by decision makers, municipality, stakeholders, involved in food waste reduction policies. Moreover, social marketing campaigns can advantage by these results, in order to avoid food-related habits in consumers’ everyday lives not respecting the issues of the food waste. In addition, this study is addressed to academics and scholars that are already working on the role of consumer’s behavior and its implication on food waste reduction.

Originality/value

Food waste in Italy has been analyzed by several authors, yet not involving national samples, using different methodologies and aiming at analyze different aspects. The present study aims at analyzing main determinants affecting food waste behavior at household level: providing more insights to existing literature.

Keywords

Citation

Pellegrini, G., Sillani, S., Gregori, M. and Spada, A. (2019), "Household food waste reduction: Italian consumers’ analysis for improving food management", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 6, pp. 1382-1397. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-07-2018-0425

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited