Towards a multi-level framework of household food waste and consumer behaviour: untangling spaghetti soup

Mark Boulet, Annet C. Hoek, Rob Raven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Changing the everyday food-related behaviours of consumers is a critical part of tackling the global food waste challenge. Comprehensive frameworks of household food waste and consumer behavior are needed to guide the development of targeted interventions and future research agendas. This study systematically reviews food waste and behaviour studies from developed nations to provide an overview of the current research field. It uses a multi-level perspective to organise the various factors influencing food-related behaviour and proposes a new, multi-level, framework of consumer behaviour and household food waste. A novel addition to the field, the framework gathers factors at micro (individual), meso (household), and macro (external to the household) levels and argues that behaviour and food waste emerge from their interactions. Our review also reveals a research domain with disciplinary and methodological ‘bald spots’ and an over-emphasis on individual level factors. A multi-level research agenda focusing on under-explored factors and interactions between factors across levels is presented, and consideration given to multi-level interventions that support consumer behaviour change to reduce household food waste.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104856
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Behaviour
  • Food waste
  • Multi-level framework
  • Systematic review

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