Determining the consumer perception on perishable food wastage in Texas, United States




Pandey, Subodh Raj

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Currently, 9 million people die every year from hunger-related issues worldwide while one-third of the produced food is wasted. It is a global as well as a regional problem. Among the different states of the United States, one-eighth of the Texans are vulnerable to food insecurity. The changing demographics, driven by the recent population influx, have not only affected consumption and wastage pattern but have also influenced environmental, resource, and social concerns. Water scarcity and drought further exacerbate its impact. With agriculture being a crucial contributor to the Texas economy, food wastage disrupts the entire supply chain globally. To address this issue, this study aims to identify the current pattern of food wastage, factors affecting food wastage, and finally to propose sustainable solutions. Also, this study identifies the consumer food shopping behavior, perceptions, knowledge, and motivations of the consumers towards reducing this problem. To fulfill these objectives, an online questionnaire survey using Qualtrics was conducted. The stratified random sampling method was employed matching the diversity of Texas in terms of age, educational level, household income, and race. Multinomial logistic regression was used to find the factors affecting food wastage and binomial logistic regression was used to find the determinants of the consumers’ willingness to accept the proposed solution. MS Excel and STATA were used for data analysis. Among the different foods, fruits and vegetables were most wasted followed by homemade meals, packaged foods, milk, bread, and meat. The major cause of food waste was identified as a change in plan followed by buying too much/too little, lack of a plan, unforeseen schedule conflict, and dislike of leftovers. Multinomial logistic regression revealed that the number of family members, race, frequency of purchase, number of children, food handling training, income level, education level, favorable shopping behavior, knowledge score, and engagement in waste reduction strategies were the significant determinants of food wastage. Further, three solutions were proposed which include packaging bags near the restaurant table, sharing the leftovers through mobile applications, and incentives via discounts for making and adhering to the shopping list. Binomial logistic regression found that the number of family members, knowledge score, and preferred shopping behavior score were the predictors of willingness to accept these proposed solutions. These overall findings will help the future researchers by providing guidelines about the consumers behavior. The policymakers benefit from this study by knowing the resent scenario and implementing these solutions to mitigate the food waste problem.



binomial logistic regression, consumer behavior, food insecurity, multinomial logistic regression, Agricultural Sciences


Pandey, S. R. (2023). Determining the consumer perception on perishable food wastage in Texas, United States (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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