Lea Häfliger

Reshaping food perception

Nudging as approach to encourage consumer-related food waste reduction


Lately, food waste has received increased attention due to climate change. It is an issue to be addressed in order to preserve resources and reduce co2 emissions. In developed countries, the most significant sources of food waste happen in households which indicates the consumer as the primary contributor. This project presents the results of a literature review and ethnographical research on factors causing food waste in households and the potential of nudging interventions for the reduction. 


‹Nudging› as approach is chosen because its implementation in food has proven to be one of the biggest environmentally impactful areas.  Regardless of the interlinked and complex composition of our food system, every individual can contribute to waste reduction with small implications.  The outcome of the project shows that consumers’ management skills of shopping and storing and their perception of food, influenced by mental models, have a significant influence on their food waste behaviours.


A concept that encourages consumers to overthink their food perception and ideally leads to a change of behaviour has been created and developed. The final solution is presented as a tool which supports food-waste decisions and provides the user with relevant information and instructions.

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