OUTDATED: THE EFFECT OF NOVEL FRESHNESS INDICATORS ON CONSUMER LIKELIHOOD TO WASTE FOOD
Weis, Carter Scott
Over 30% of total food production is wasted each year in the United States, with similarly concerning levels of food waste arising in countries across the world. In the United States and the United Kingdom, over 60% of food waste occurs at the consumer level. Consumer confusion over date label meanings is a major driver of consumer-level food waste and date labels represent an opportunity for improvement. Research is needed to investigate how consumers respond to date labels currently present in the market and how they may respond to date label innovations that provide new types of information. Here, I use an ordinal logit model to examine the effect of different date label treatments and food product types on consumer likelihood to discard past date food products in the United States and United Kingdom. Date label treatments include a novel Freshness Indicator, which provides consumers with clear, visual information about product quality in addition to common date label language. I find similar likelihood to discard across the US (n=579) and the UK (n=583) samples in the control treatment (no date label), with 26.35% and 23.40% of participants predicted to be likely to discard food products one day past the posted date. Our results show that participants in both the US and UK are predicted to have a similar likelihood to discard under the “Use By” and “Best if Used By” / “Best Before” date labels commonly seen in the market. The novel Freshness Indicator treatments show the greatest change in predicted likelihood to discard from the control treatment in both the US and UK samples. While our results find meaningful differences in predicted likelihood to waste across different types of food products, the date label treatment effects are relatively consistent across products in both countries overall.
date labels; food waste; freshness indicators; intelligent packaging technology
Rickard, Bradley J.
Gomez, Miguel I.
Applied Economics and Management
M.S., Applied Economics and Management
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis