Authors: Safa D. Manala-O and Patrick Adriel H. Aure
Year: 2019, Volume 19 Number 3
The foodservice industry is considered to be one of the largest and most profitable sectors in the Philippine economy. Literature reveals that one of the pressing and urgent concerns of foodservice outlets is food waste. Food waste is defined as any food appropriate and intended for human consumption being discarded, whether or not it is kept beyond its expiry date or left to spoil. Economically speaking, it impacts the cost firms incur in disposing food waste and has serious environmental and social implications. This study investigates the out-of-home food waste behavior of young consumers within the context of the Philippine fast-food industry. Given the local, regional, and global presence of the industry, studying food waste behavior contributes to the call for sustainability. It is beneficial to fast-food management and industry by providing insights on food waste behavior of young consumers. Data from a sample of 145 college students were gathered and analyzed using relevant variables from the consumer food waste model and partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) algorithm. Analyses reveal that awareness and social norms have a significant influence on ordering fast-food as mediated by the consumer’s motivation to avoid or reduce food waste. Mainly, the results suggest that management can shape the ordering behavior of young consumers by strengthening their motivation through individual consumer awareness campaigns and peer group behavior. None of the paths leading from attitude, awareness, and social norm to food consumption were significant. It can thus be concluded that, per the results of this study, management intervention at the point of consumption may no longer be useful in mitigating food waste. The final and critical point at which management may intervene to influence consumer behavior is the in-store ordering stage. We recommend that future studies explore additional constructs that improve the prediction power and fit of the model. Future research can expound on the social circle of the consumer and local values, beliefs, and practices that contribute to sustainable food consumption.
Keywords: consumers food waste model, fast-food, food waste behavior, young consumers