Consumers’ Food Waste Knowledge in Austria

Oliver Meixner, Nicolina Eleonora Kolmhofer, Felix Katt


In times of increasing environmental awareness, the topic of food waste receives a lot of attention from practitioners and scholars alike. In this study, we analyze how well-informed Austrian consumers regard food waste and what factors might influence this knowledge. In a consumer survey (n = 470), we examined consumer food and food handling knowledge, cooking skills, place of residence, personal ties to agriculture, engagement in initiatives against food waste, and their effect on food waste knowledge. To understand what effect social desirability might
have on participants’ answers, we administered the survey in both online and face-to-face settings. Amongst others, our findings suggest a positive relationship between knowledge about food and food handling and
knowledge about food waste prevention as well as a social desirability bias in reporting one’s own knowledge about food waste prevention. We could not find a statistically significant relationship between food and food handling knowledge, and food waste knowledge. Furthermore, we did not find evidence that a personal connection to agriculture or a rural place of residence leads to better food waste knowledge. Finally, the unexpected influence of cooking skills is at least surprising to a certain extent. We conclude this study by outlining potential areas for future research as well as managerial implications.


food waste; food waste knowledge; consumer behavior; social desirability bias; consumer survey

Full Text:



ISSN 1869-6945


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License