• Linet Lores Sánchez
This research focuses on consumers’ behaviour as one of the major drivers for domestic food waste in Denmark. Danish households generate roughly 50% of the total amount of food waste nationwide. Although government and civil organisations are targeting the problem, consumers are the ultimate decision-makers. Much of the previous research on the causes of food waste in households involves little discussion of the reasons behind individual behaviour. In spite of the several initiatives on food production and sales, few solutions have targeted food wastage in households. Solutions towards integrated systems that connect retailers with householders while nudging the latter towards responsible consumption do not exist. This study seeks to address this gap through a digital intervention that connects consumers and retailers in a mutually beneficial way while preventing food waste. The empirical research draws on qualitative interviews with consumers’ and field experts’ insights, based on theory, analysis and strategy.
The consumers’ accounts reveal that individuals who purchase their groceries without proper planning tend to waste more food more often. Moreover, storing food without keeping track of products’ expiration dates is a fundamental cause for waste. These findings point to the interconnectedness between all the stages of the consumption chain; how one influences the other to create a domino effect. Therefore, the solution considers all the phases of the food supply chain, instead of separate tools with isolated functionalities. The interviews also expose consumers’ biases and emotional triggers that can be steered towards making better decisions. Additionally, the analysis highlights the challenges of consumers that lead to waste food. Compared to lack of time, or healthy eating habits, food waste does not figure as a key problem per se for participants. This insight forms the baseline for any attempts to address food waste.
The concepts around human behaviour, digital nudging and emotional design, together with the insights from the experts' interviews, ideate a human-centred solution drawn on the frame of Design Thinking. Upon understanding consumers’ needs and defining the problem, the solution targets a desirable, usable, and convenient tool that reduces consumers’ efforts, while helping them adopt a responsible attitude towards food. This study proposes the inclusion of a 2D barcode scanner, which would expand the supply chain access to consumers, creating a new channel through which producers and retailers can directly communicate with shoppers.
For human-centred research, the design thinking method is an ideal match that provides a structure to understand consumers’ context and empathise with their needs, with the goal of finding common ground to address food waste. By providing the missing connection between the suppliers and consumers, the user-friendly app opens a new communication channel to increase transparency and accuracy throughout the value chain. The expansion of the food supply chain to include the consumption stage can transform the current landscape of the food system, leading to more collaboration and synchronization among all the actors. Food waste is not a regional problem, it is a global problem, it is a human problem and hence applicable to different contexts.
Udgivelsesdato31 jul. 2020
Antal sider131
Ekstern samarbejdspartnerGS1 Denmark
Standars & RElations Manager at GS1 Mads Kibsgaard mki@gs1.dk
ID: 337939097