Supermarket shopping and excess food waste: A comparative study of supermarket vs. independent retail clientele
AdvisorsBurek, Cynthia V.
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AbstractThe aim of the study is to investigate the link between environmental attitudes and levels of food waste produced by supermarket shoppers as opposed to independent retail shoppers. The study also aims to look at the different factors that may influence shoppers' habits and how much food waste they may produce. This study is both a quantitative and qualitative comparative study using a questionnaire to compare views of food waste and a food waste diary to compare methods of how the general public are disposing of it and their reasons why. The study took place at Hawarden Estate Farm shop and Tesco, Broughton Shopping Park. Random samples of 80 women over the age of 18, English speaking and who were independently living were asked to take part in the study. 40 participants were recruited at each of the two locations of whom fully completed the questionnaires. There were 5 participants who completed and returned the food waste diaries from home. The independent variable measured by the food waste diary and questionnaire in this study is the supermarkets effect on amount of household food waste created in comparison to independent retailers. The dependent variable is the amount of household food waste created. The quantitative data was statistically analysed using SPSS software. Qualitative data was analysed by comparing the answers given and discussed. The study was unable to compare differences of food waste between supermarket and independent retail clientele due to the small number of food waste diaries completed. Date labels have been identified as a possible cause of excess food waste. When participants at both sites of the study were asked what they understood by the term 'sell-by' date 80% answered correctly. A similar result was found when participants were asked about the 'use by' date where 86% answered correctly. The most confusion was seen when asked about the 'best before' date, only 38% of participants answered correctly. There were more independent retailer shoppers who owned an outdoor composter (n=15) compared to supermarket shoppers (n=5). More participants owned an indoor food waste bin compared to having an outdoor composter with 56% of participants having one. The most common type of food waste was found to be vegetable peelings and leftovers from meals. It may be suggested that supermarkets encourage bulk buying which may increase food waste. Supermarket shoppers in this study seemed to have a less organised approach to their food shopping and bought more food on offer and in promotions that weren't intentional. This type of shopping could be influencing the amount of food waste that is being sent to landfill and adding to the greenhouse gases being produced.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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