Convenient tools and social norms: The effectiveness of an intervention to diminish household food waste

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Thursday 08 December 2022

02:30 PM - 03:30 PM


JA125, Jaguar building, Coventry University



Event details

This event will discuss ongoing research on interventions to reduce household food waste.


Reducing food waste is one of the key sustainability targets, and food waste in households constitutes a substantial part of the issue. Still, theory-driven research testing interventions to reduce household food waste and especially comparing different intervention options is rare. Moreover, in testing the effectiveness of such interventions, possible contamination caused by the measurement of food waste needs to be considered. The current study tests two interventions, based on the Motivation-Opportunity-Ability framework, to assess if combining a tool package to reduce food waste with a motivational message based on social norms is more effective than the tool package alone. Additionally, it examines the effects of the self-reported measurement of household food waste, to ensure that results are not caused by mere measurement. Findings of two field experiments show that the tool package improves food management abilities and opportunities, and decreases self-reported food waste. Results of the second study indicate that the effects are not due to mere measurement.


Erica van Herpen is Associate Professor in the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on healthy and sustainable food choices, as well as household food waste. Erica enjoys interdisciplinary research collaborations, and her work has appeared in academic journals in the areas of consumer behaviour, sustainability, and food. She has participated in several EU projects and is currently leading the Dutch project FETE, which examines transitions in the food system to reduce food waste. Erica is an expert member of the European Consumer Food Waste Forum.