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Responsible Retailing: Stimulating Healthy Choices and Reducing Food Waste
(A2020-63143)

Published: May 28, 2019

AUTHORS

Niels Holtrop, Maastricht University; Bram Foubert, Maastricht University

ABSTRACT

Throughout the Western world, health and environmental issues related to the quality and amount of food intake have received increasing attention during the past decade. Obesity is a prime health concern among many governments and consumers. Similarly, food waste is a top environmental concern. What these problems have in common is the central role played by food manufacturers. In particular, manufacturers’ decisions with regard to package size, nutritional content, and price promotions have often been linked with obesity and food waste. Changing consumer demands have now prompted manufactures to adopt strategies that account for these concerns.

            In this special session, we consider the circumstances under which such strategies are more or less successful, and provide implications for consumers, manufactures, retailers, and policy makers. While the first three papers focus on the role of product packaging and content, and mainly study the effects on purchase behavior and sales, the fourth paper studies price promotions and analyzes the effects on post-purchase consumption behavior and waste.

The Drivers of Consumers’ Package Size Decisions in an FMCG Context

Arabi, Foubert, Holtrop

Existing research has shown that consumers’ purchase behavior is impacted by package size, but has failed to identify the exact mechanisms that govern actual package size purchase decisions, in particular contingent on personal considerations such as health concerns and waste aversion. Using purchase data across several categories, this paper sheds light on how these drivers shape package size decisions.

A War on Sugar? Finding the Sweet Spot in Sugar Reduction Strategies

Keller, Guyt

In response to consumers’ and policy makers’ health concerns, food manufacturers have started introducing low-sugar products. Two common strategies are: (a) decreasing the amount of sugar, and (b) reducing package size. This paper studies the effects of the two strategies on the brands’ market share (both volume- and revenue-based) and consumers’ sugar intake, and explores the moderating role of factors such as brand equity and pricing.

The Impact of the First Light Purchase on Subsequent Purchase Behavior: A Cross-Category and Cross-Household Analysis
Holtrop, Cleeren, Geyskens, Verhoef

Prior research has shown that the first purchase of low-fat chips leads to a sustained increase in purchase volume and calories in the chips category. The current research investigates whether this effect generalizes to other product categories.  Moreover, the paper examines whether category characteristics such as discount intensity, and household characteristics such as health-focus and variety seeking, play a role.

From Cash to Trash? Retailer Price Promotions and their Effect on Household Food Waste

Aydinli, Bertini, Van Herpen, Van Lin, Von Schuckmann

Retailer price promotions, and in particular buy-one, get-one-free (BOGOF) deals, are often singled out as a principal cause of household food waste. Counter to popular wisdom, this paper indicates that BOGOF deals and other types of multi-unit promotions actually reduce food waste: households in this condition waste less food and take more preventive action (by freezing leftovers) than households in the no-promotion and standard discount conditions.