Consumer-Perceived Probability of Food Waste and Attitudes Towards Sales Promotions: An Abstract
Retailers spend more and more on sales promotions to increase sales volumes. In the meantime, food waste is now becoming a major issue. However, no research has yet studied the potential effects of perceived probability of wasting and consumers’ concern for food waste, on consumers’ attitude towards promotions and consumers’ intention to choose perishable food products.
This paper provides a conceptual framework regarding (1) consumers and sales promotions and (2) the link between food waste concern and attitudes towards promotions. This leads to a general model including hypotheses regarding deal proneness, perceived food waste probability, attitudes towards promotions and purchase intentions. Consumer involvement and subjective expertise are also included in the model.
Two scenarios were developed. They focused on selection of a single product (grated cheese/bread baguette, no logo nor brand) from a set of four propositions: P1, buy one at regular price; P2, buy one, get a second for 50% off (BOGO50); P3, buy two, get a third one free (BTGOF); and P3L, buy two, get a third one free later (BTGOFL). Two online surveys were built, with the same structure (416 /401 responses). After questions on involvement with the product and subjective expertise, the second part puts the respondent in situations of purchase. First, his/her attitude towards the different offers was assessed; then, the four offers were presented simultaneously, and participants were asked to indicate their selection and give the reasons for their choice.
This study (1) reports that more than 75% of the respondents choose products with promotional offers, (2) establishes that consumers’ perceived probability of waste has a significant negative effect on consumers’ attitude towards promotions and consumers’ intention to choose perishable food products on sale and (3) highlights scepticism towards the BTGOF offer. Indeed, attitude towards this offer is less positive than the attitude towards P2 and P3. This scepticism might come from a lack of confidence about this promotion or from a lack of understanding of how this promotion works and/or a mechanism perceived as too complicated.
Retailers must then better explain the benefits offered by this promotional offer and take into account the perceived barriers. In order to be accepted, it should be considered as the best alternative for consumers; this can be achieved by convincing consumers that it is the smartest choice, the financial benefit being the same, the probability of waste being lower and the mechanism being simple and without risk.