Prevention of household food waste : An experimental study of the effects of awareness on consumer behaviour
Abstract: Background. The production of food requires great amounts of natural resources. Although, not all the food produced is consumed. Food waste is a global issue with the potential to create resource scarcity for future generations. Preventing food waste is an effective approach to avoid this outcome. Moreover, the prevention of food waste could decrease the environmental human print and balance the access to food around the world. In developed countries, the households contribute in a significant amount to the food waste problem.. It is mainly attributed to the behaviours that the consumers develop consciously and unconsciously. Therefore, it is significant to research further in the implications of awareness in the behaviours linked to food waste. Aspiration. The following research aims to find the effect of awareness in the consumer behaviours linked to food waste in the household through an experiment. Method. A survey with 52 respondents was used to sample the participants of the experiment. From the respondents, 12 young adults aged between 18 to 29 years old, living by themselves in Visby, Sweden participated in the experimental study. The participants of the experiment were divided in two groups, the experimental and the control group. A treatment, consisting of an educational video regarding prevention of household food waste, was provided to the experimental group. The experiment measures how the participants were affected by the treatment. Key findings. Regarding the awareness of household food waste, the experimental group had a significant improvement compared to the control group after the treatment. This proves that the consumers whose awareness of household food waste is increased present a higher potential to have their behaviours changed thus reducing household food waste. The hypothesis was proven, while the main finding indicates that as consumer advanced in the experiment the reported behaviours change considerably. While it was expected that the self-reporting of household food waste in the participants would be reduced, in fact, this incremented in some cases.
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