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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Are consumers willing to reduce food waste? Understanding consumers’ willingness to buy abnormal fruits and vegetables

Published: May 27, 2020


Louise Dumont, Université catholique de Louvain / LouRIM; Christophe Descamps, Université catholique de Louvain; Virginie Bruneau, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Solvay Brussels School Economics & Management; Valérie Swaen, UCLouvain


abnormal food; food waste; consumer behavior


Consumers demand high levels of visual perfection for the food they buy. To meet these expectations, retailers refuse entire crops of physically abnormal food from growers, resulting in a large amount of waste. In response to this waste issue, research studied the sale and purchase of abnormal fruits and vegetables. Yet, it is still unclear what the intrinsic motivations and barriers to buy them are. To fill this gap, our study aims to understand consumers’ perceptions about abnormal fruits and vegetables in supermarkets. Based on qualitative and quantitative inquiries, we highlight specific consumers’ constraints to buy abnormal fruits and vegetables in supermarkets. Furthermore, there is a need to understand how retailers that are selling abnormal food are perceived and how this impacts consumers’ purchase intention of abnormal fruits and vegetables. We contribute to literature by developing deeper understanding of barriers and drivers to purchase abnormal fruits and vegetables.