The Marketing and Consumer Behaviour group is proud to present the following research seminar on Monday 9 December, 12.00-13.00 hrs.: “From Cash to Trash? Retailer Price Promotions and their Effect on Household Food Waste” by Arjen van Lin from the Department of Marketing, Tilburg University.
Retailer price promotions, and in particular buy-one-get-one-free (BOGOF) deals, are often singled out as a principal cause of household food waste. The typical argument is that discounting prompts shoppers to purchase more frequently or in larger quantities than they need, which subsequently boosts waste, yet this claim has never been tested empirically. In this research, we combine household purchase data and survey data to examine the relationship between retailer price promotions and household food waste. Households reported usage and food waste after purchase for a set of perishable products in no promotion, standard (money-off) discount, and multi-unit promotion conditions. Counter to popular wisdom, the data indicate that BOGOF deals and other types of multi-unit promotions actually reduce food waste: households in this condition wasted less food and took more preventive action (by freezing leftovers) than households in the no promotion and standard discount conditions. We consider different explanations for this surprising finding, and the leading explanation is that multi-unit promotions make households more responsible because they increase the salience of the purchase.
Bio Arjen van Lin is Assistant Professor of Marketing at Tilburg University. Prior to joining Tilburg University, he was at the faculty of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He obtained his PhD from Tilburg University. His research focuses on retailing. In particular, he is interested in understanding the effects of retailer price promotions and mergers and acquisitions. His research is published in the Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, the International Journal of Research in Marketing, and the Journal of Interactive Marketing.