Start Date

4-2021 12:00 AM

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Environmental Science and Policy

Faculty Mentor

Vanessa Levesque, PhD, and Dr. Joseph Staples, PhD

Keywords

food waste, expiration dates, date labeling, consumer habits, consumer knowledge, food safety

Abstract

In the United States, the legal framework for product date labeling is minimal and varies across states. Manufacturers have the discretion to use any date label that they deem appropriate, and this lack of uniformity leaves room for misinterpretation by both retailers and consumers. Previous studies have examined consumer misinterpretation of date labels and how this lack of knowledge correlates to food waste behaviors. This study was aimed at understanding how consumers apply their knowledge about date labels to make decisions about purchasing and discarding food. The research was conducted via an intercept survey outside of a grocery store to obtain information directly from consumers. Survey results showed evidence that consumers often misunderstand the meaning of date labels, particularly “best-by” and “use-by.” Results also revealed that lack of understanding varied among different age groups. Decisions about purchasing and discarding food seem to be connected more to the apparent quality of food from a sensory perspective, rather than to a direct and significant link between the date label and the safety or quality of the product.

Open Access?

1

Share

COinS
 
Apr 30th, 12:00 AM

Consumer Food Waste Behaviors in Relation to Open Date Label Misinterpretation

In the United States, the legal framework for product date labeling is minimal and varies across states. Manufacturers have the discretion to use any date label that they deem appropriate, and this lack of uniformity leaves room for misinterpretation by both retailers and consumers. Previous studies have examined consumer misinterpretation of date labels and how this lack of knowledge correlates to food waste behaviors. This study was aimed at understanding how consumers apply their knowledge about date labels to make decisions about purchasing and discarding food. The research was conducted via an intercept survey outside of a grocery store to obtain information directly from consumers. Survey results showed evidence that consumers often misunderstand the meaning of date labels, particularly “best-by” and “use-by.” Results also revealed that lack of understanding varied among different age groups. Decisions about purchasing and discarding food seem to be connected more to the apparent quality of food from a sensory perspective, rather than to a direct and significant link between the date label and the safety or quality of the product.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.

 
blog comments powered by Disqus