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Spur of the moment: the unintended consequences of excessive food purchases and food waste during Ramadan

Siti Hasnah Hassan (School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia)
Eve Chee Low (School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Malaysia)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 May 2024

Issue publication date: 17 June 2024




Food waste, a global conundrum with adverse socioeconomic and environmental implications, occurs when more money is spent on food during occasions akin to Ramadan. This study examines the moderating role of antecedents (festive experience, nostalgic food memory, perceived scarcity, and religiosity) to understand the impacts of excessive food buying on Ramadan food waste.


A cross-sectional survey was performed with a self-administered questionnaire using Google Forms to gather data on social media. Notably, 349 valid responses were analysed via Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) with SmartPLS 4 for model development and hypothesis testing.


Festive experience, nostalgic memory, and perceived food scarcity could explain excessive buying behaviour. In this vein, excessive food buying contributed to Ramadan food waste. Meanwhile, religiosity was found to moderate excessive food-buying behaviour.

Practical implications

The empirical findings offered useful insights for practitioners and policymakers to implement optimal marketing strategies and interventions that improve responsible consumption and minimise food waste.


This study provided a sound understanding of consumer buying behaviour during Ramadan regarding food waste and overconsumption. The current work delineated the role of descriptive, injunctive norms and cognitive dissonance in shaping buying behaviour during Ramadan.



We would like to recognise and acknowledge the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia for the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme with Project Code: FRGS/1/2022/SS01/USM/02/11.


Hassan, S.H. and Low, E.C. (2024), "Spur of the moment: the unintended consequences of excessive food purchases and food waste during Ramadan", British Food Journal, Vol. 126 No. 7, pp. 2732-2745.



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