A Field Experiment on Biases in Food Waste Measurement Methods

Merian S, O'Sullivan K, Stoeckli SJ, Beretta C, Tiefenbeck V, Mueller N, Fleisch E, Natter M (2023)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Conference contribution, Abstract of lecture

Publication year: 2023

Conference Proceedings Title: Proceedings of the European Marketing Academy

Event location: Odense DK


Reducing consumer food waste is currently on many national agendas. Despite the urgency of the issue, there is a lack of accurate measurement methods, making it difficult to quantify con-sumer food waste and identify effective interventions. Accurate measurement requires a deep understanding of how measurement methods are biased. In a field experiment with 369 house-holds, we analyzed biases associated with different measurement methods (survey, diary, kitchen caddy) and procedures. Results allow us to quantify how different measurement meth-ods deviate from each other and how biases impair reported and measured food waste esti-mates. Survey-based underreporting seems difficult to avoid, even when combined with other methods. Households’ awareness of food waste can only partially explain this. The analysis further suggests that results are affected by an Experimenter Demand Effect. Based on the in-sights generated, we discuss ideas for the improvement of measurement methods.

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Merian, S., O'Sullivan, K., Stoeckli, S.J., Beretta, C., Tiefenbeck, V., Mueller, N.,... Natter, M. (2023, May). A Field Experiment on Biases in Food Waste Measurement Methods. Paper presentation at EMAC Annual Conference 2023, Odense, DK.


Merian, Sybilla, et al. "A Field Experiment on Biases in Food Waste Measurement Methods." Presented at EMAC Annual Conference 2023, Odense 2023.

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