Attitudes and behaviour towards convenience food and food waste in the United Kingdom

Mallinson, Lucy, Jean, Russell and Barker, Margo (2016) Attitudes and behaviour towards convenience food and food waste in the United Kingdom. Appetite, 103 . pp. 17-28. ISSN 0195-6663

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.03.017

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Abstract

Households in the UK discard much food. A reduction in such waste to mitigate environmental impact is
part of UK government policy. This study investigated whether household food waste is linked to a
lifestyle reliant on convenience food in younger consumers. A survey of 928 UK residents aged 18e40
years and responsible for the household food shopping (male n ¼ 278; female n ¼ 650) completed an
online questionnaire designed to measure attitudes to convenience food and to quantify household food
waste. Cluster analysis of 24 food-related lifestyle factors identified 5 consumer groups. General linear
modelling techniques were used to test relationships between the purchase frequency of convenience
food and household food waste. From the cluster analysis, five distinct convenience profiles emerged
comprising: ‘epicures’ (n = 135), ‘traditional consumers’ (n = 255), ‘casual consumers’ (n = 246), ‘food
detached consumers’ (n = 151) and ‘kitchen evaders’ (n = 141). Casual consumers and kitchen evaders
were the most reliant on convenience food and notably were the most wasteful. The demographic profile
of kitchen evaders matched the population groups currently targeted by UK food waste policy. Casual
consumers represent a new and distinct group characterised by “buy a lot and waste a lot” behaviour.
Household size, packaging format, price-awareness and marketing all appear to influence levels of food
waste. However, it seems that subtle behavioural and sociocultural factors also have impact. Further
research is needed to elucidate the factors that mediate the positive association between the purchase of
convenience food and reported food waste in order to inform food waste policy and initiatives.

Keywords:Food waste, Convenience food, Consumers, Lifestyle
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D610 Food Science
Divisions:Professional services > Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute
ID Code:46326
Deposited On:14 Sep 2021 09:20

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