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Italian consumers’ income and food waste behavior

Italian consumers’ income and food waste behavior PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to provide insights on the relationships between consumers’ income and household food waste behaviors.Design/methodology/approachAttitude toward food waste is a paradigmatic (economic) nonstandard decision-making. Based on behavioral economics concepts and empirical evidences, the study analyzes the frequency of household food waste and its main drivers with a focus on individual income. Through a panel of 1,403 Italian consumers, food waste behavior and its determinants are modeled for five food typologies using proportional odds models that adopt stepwise procedures and genetic algorithms.FindingsResults suggest the existence of complex relationships between per capita income and household food waste behavior. When considering food typologies that include high value added products, this relation can be explained by an inverse U-shaped curve: mid-to-low income consumers purchase higher amounts of lower quality products and waste more food.Research limitations/implicationsThe research highlights the importance of understanding the main socio-economic and behavioral determinants of household food waste, and the need for further researches.Practical implicationsThe research motivates specific pricing, commercial and policy strategies as well as organizational technological, and educational solutions to prevent / reduce household food waste.Originality/valueThe study identifies different patterns of relationship among individual income and consumers’ food waste behavior, and describes the conditions that limit a household “Food Waste Kuznets Curve”. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

Italian consumers’ income and food waste behavior

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/BFJ-11-2015-0427
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to provide insights on the relationships between consumers’ income and household food waste behaviors.Design/methodology/approachAttitude toward food waste is a paradigmatic (economic) nonstandard decision-making. Based on behavioral economics concepts and empirical evidences, the study analyzes the frequency of household food waste and its main drivers with a focus on individual income. Through a panel of 1,403 Italian consumers, food waste behavior and its determinants are modeled for five food typologies using proportional odds models that adopt stepwise procedures and genetic algorithms.FindingsResults suggest the existence of complex relationships between per capita income and household food waste behavior. When considering food typologies that include high value added products, this relation can be explained by an inverse U-shaped curve: mid-to-low income consumers purchase higher amounts of lower quality products and waste more food.Research limitations/implicationsThe research highlights the importance of understanding the main socio-economic and behavioral determinants of household food waste, and the need for further researches.Practical implicationsThe research motivates specific pricing, commercial and policy strategies as well as organizational technological, and educational solutions to prevent / reduce household food waste.Originality/valueThe study identifies different patterns of relationship among individual income and consumers’ food waste behavior, and describes the conditions that limit a household “Food Waste Kuznets Curve”.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 4, 2016

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