Are grocery store meal kits able to reduce consumer food waste? A quantitative study on whether grocery store meal kits can reduce consumer food waste compared to traditional cooking, using a food waste diary.
Grocery store meal kits are popular among consumers as they respond to the three food market trends simultaneously; 1) convenience, 2) health, and 3) sustainability. Grocery store meal kits are packages which are available at grocery stores including predominantly fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and a recipe for one meal, enabling cooking at home. They differ from traditional cooking in the way how meals are bought (shopping) and prepared (cooking). As consumers are the biggest contributor to the total amount of food waste, the primary step to reduce food waste is at the consumer level. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate whether and how grocery store meal kits influence consumer food waste, compared to traditional cooking. In addition, this study also investigates how monetary promotions (price promotion vs. no promotion), cooking skills, and time scarcity may moderate the relationship between cooking with a grocery store meal kit (vs. traditional cooking) and consumer food waste. 33 Dutch households used a food waste diary to report their food waste. The collected data was analysed using a regression analysis. The outcomes of this study showed that cooking with a grocery store meal kit (vs. traditional cooking) does not have a significant impact on consumer food waste. Moreover, monetary promotions (price promotion vs. no promotion) and cooking skills did not significantly impact the strength of the relationship. However, time scarcity did significantly impact the strength which means that the effect of cooking with a grocery store meal kit (vs. traditional cooking) on consumer food waste becomes more negative if time scarcity increases. These results give some first academic insights into the relationship between grocery store meal kit cooking (vs. traditional cooking) and consumer food waste. Managers/ policy makers may use these insights in their communication on how consumers can help in reducing food waste.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen