Reducing Food Waste: A Practitioner Guide Identifying Requirements for an Integrated Social Marketing Communication Campaign

David Pearson, Anji Perera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


This article specifies behavior changes and identifies content for an integrated social marketing communication campaign to reduce amount of food wasted by individuals. The findings are based on a review of literature and discussions with experts. After gaining attention, the campaign will need to inform individuals of negative environmental impact, social injustice, and economic costs of wasting food. Individual behavior changes required are to plan purchases and store correctly, which will reduce amount of spoilage, and to prepare appropriate amounts, which will reduce food waste from leftovers. In addition, individuals are required to redistribute or recycle inevitable food waste rather than throwing it out as rubbish. Identification of these behavior changes will be useful for practitioners in industry, government, and not-for-profit sectors who are engaging in activities encouraging individuals to reduce food waste. Due to wide variations in food provisioning behaviors across different cultures and geographies, additional market research on the population of interest is required to design content for the campaign. This will allow for framing message and selection of media to appeal to identified target groups of individuals who both waste large amounts of food and, importantly, are receptive to changing their behaviors to reduce amount of food wasted. And finally, the success of any such “downstream” behavior change campaign will be increased when it is supported by enabling “upstream” contextual influences associated with supportive social networks, communities, infrastructure, and regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Marketing Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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