Food Waste Knowledge in Austria: A Consumer Perspective

Oliver Meixner

Abstract


In times of increasing environmental awareness, the topic of food waste receives high attention from
practitioners and scholars alike. In this study we analyze how well-informed Austrian consumers are regarding
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 living, 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 both in an online and
a face to face setting. 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 living leads to a higher 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.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18461/pfsd.2020.2013

ISSN 2194-511X

 

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