Vegetable waste streams: how to match consumer preferences

Vegetable waste streams: how to match consumer preferences

Keep Food Simple initiated this MSc study that Leandra Schmitz conducted in 2017. She  currently leads innovation projects at Arvalis, an agri-food consultancy firm created by the ‘Limburgse Land- en Tuinbouwbond’. Because of the growing food demand and the need for more sustainable foods the use of food waste as a potential resource becomes a higher priority.

In her study Leandra explored how the negative perception by consumers of waste could be altered and, therefore, how products made from vegetable waste should be positioned on the Dutch market. It was shown that product claims, such as ‘natural’, ‘healthy’ or ‘sustainable’ would be preferred over ‘made of vegetable waste’. Additional benefit would be obtained from a combination of these attributes, for instance a nutritional claim for a sustainable product. Pricing was seen as most important regardless of the claims made for the product. High preference for the lowest price suggests that caution should be taken with premium pricing strategies.

The research was conducted focusing on a target group of millennials. As an example Leandra used a pesto made from artichoke stems, which are currently waste material.

Over the past years the number of start-ups and products using ‘waste’ has increased. The exploitation of ‘waste’ is increasingly becoming an unique selling point. Therefore knowledge of the perception of the consumers with regard to this new category of products is of increasing relevance

Reference: Leandra Schmitz, Vegetable waste streams: how to give them a new purpose, MSc thesis Maastricht University, July 2017.
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