Hiding in plain sight: How imperfect ingredient transformation impact consumer preference for rescue-based food

Anna de Visser-Amundson, John Peloza, Mirella Kleijnen, Aylin Aydinli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rescue-based food (RBF) – food products often made from ingredients that are not able to be sold due to aesthetic imperfections – represent an opportunity to reduce food waste. However, despite consumers’ desire to act pro-socially, preference for such products is negatively impacted by the perception that the imperfect ingredients reduce the quality of RBF. Across two studies, one field study and one controlled experiment, we demonstrate that a higher level of ingredients transformation can positively impact demand for RBF. Specifically, when the transformation makes the physical appearance of the initial imperfect ingredients less discernable (e.g., pureed) consumer demand increases in comparison to when the imperfect ingredient is less transformed and more visible (e.g., chunky). The findings have implications on prior literature on how transformation impacts consumer preferences, which shows equivocal results in the RBF domain. Further, the potential to elevate consumer demand for RBF has significant potential to advance efforts to reduce food waste.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104771
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • Consumer behavior
  • Food waste
  • Product transformation
  • Rescue-based food
  • Visual discernibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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