The Squander Sequence: Understanding Food Waste at Each Stage of the Consumer Decision-Making Process

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Food waste presents a complex global problem that involves multiple actors and institutions within the aggregate food marketing system. Food waste occurs across food production and distribution, as well as at the hands of the consumer. In this research, the authors focus on waste that occurs across what is termed the "squander sequence," which describes waste that occurs from consumer behaviors at the preacquisition, acquisition, consumption, and disposition stages. The authors set forth a behavioral theory-based agenda to explain food waste in the squander sequence with the ultimate goals of encouraging future research to uncover the psychological underpinnings of consumer-level food waste and of deriving transformative consumer solutions to this substantive issue.

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