Cutting Through the Challenge of Improving the Consumer Experience of Foods by Enabling the Preparation of Sustainable Meals and the Reduction of Food Waste

Chapter

Abstract

The communication of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility measurements by food industry campaigns has identified key areas of activity that dominate sustainable thinking in the food industry. The purpose of this chapter is to show that one of these areas of activity, the intensity of resource use and resulting food waste, can be used as a universal connector of sustainability practice across supply chains and between them. This requires an assessment of food waste production because it is an attribute consumers are familiar with and as such; these connectors are often overshadowed by high-level issues such as global food security, climate change and the loss of biodiversity. While these high-level issues rightly dominate the policy arena they will often take the attention away from issues that practically relate sustainability to us as consumers when we prepare, present, preserve and consume three or four meals a day. This situation presents a major challenge that is tackled here by providing sustainability and security metrics that relate to meals. The Six-Function-Model (6fm) is a model developed to assess the sustainability of food and it can be used to overcome the stifling of sustainability thinking by methods that do not enable practical application in retail, kitchen and restaurant situations. The use of the 6fm by manufacturers, retailers and consumers will stimulate the ‘designing-in’ of sustainability attributes into meals. The model and a benchmarking analysis of the 6fm are presented here to account for resource use and food waste associated with meals. The future goal of 6fm is to stimulate the use of it in the food and beverage industry so that it ‘builds-in’ sustainable thinking to product design and consumer experience.

Keywords

Sustainability Consumption Consumers Responsibility Consumer goods 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sheffield Business SchoolSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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