Food waste generated at the household level represents about half of the total food waste in high-income countries, making consumers a target for food waste reduction strategies. To successfully reduce consumer food waste, it is necessary to have an understanding of factors influencing food waste behaviors (FWB). The objective of this study was to investigate socio-demographic predictors of FWB among consumers in two European countries: Denmark and Spain. Based on a survey involving 1518 Danish and 1511 Spanish consumers, we examined the associations of age, sex, education, marital status, employment status, and household size with FWB. By using structural equation modeling based on confirmatory factor analysis, we created the variable FWB from self-reported food waste and two activities that have been correlated with the amount of food wasted in previous studies: namely, shopping routines and food preparation. Results show that being older, unemployed, and working part-time were associated with less food waste behavior in both countries. In Denmark, being male was associated with more food waste behavior, and living in a household with four or more people was associated with less food waste behavior. These results underscore the modest role of socio-demographic characteristics in predicting food waste behavior in Europe.
- Food waste