Targeting food waste by motivating customers to buy imperfect food
A study, developed on behalf of the European Commission, tested the possible factors that may affect consumers´ willingness to buy imperfect food (not perfect looking but still great in taste and quality).
Participants were ... shown 1 of 2 messages aimed at encouraging the purchase of imperfect apples and carrots: 1) “Embrace imperfection: join the fight against food waste!” or 2) message emphasizing that the food is „naturally imperfect“. Both of the messages were combined with a) no price reduction, b) a 15% price reduction, c) a 30% price reduction.
The results were the following: with no price reduction, 26% of consumers were willing to buy imperfect food; with a 15% price reduction, it increased to 31%; with a 30% discount, this share reached 39%. The persuasive messages had the strongest effect in the no-discount condition: the anti-food-waste or authenticity message resulted in and 42% and 41% of consumers being willing to buy imperfect food, respectively.