64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Countering food waste through digital tools: statistical analysis at different territorial levels


Mengting Yu



64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Format: IPS Abstract

Keywords: consumer, food, innovation, quantitative, sdgs, waste management


“How to reduce food waste” is an essential task on our way to achieving sustainability and tackling the still-existing food poverty and insecurity globally. The European Commission pointed out that 42% of all food produced was wasted during the final consumption stage, which consisted of food service and household consumption. Furthermore, two-thirds of the food waste is indeed avoidable and possibly avoidable. Consumers and the industries interacting with the consumers become the keys to food waste reduction. Often the two actors influence each other as we understand how the market power works. Meanwhile, the urgent need to tackle the problems gives birth to many innovations, however, their effectiveness is under debate. This paper aims at evaluating two innovations targeting food waste reduction and food surplus redistribution on the consumer stage with a quantitative approach.
Our first case-study is implemented, within the H2020 LOWINFOOD project, with a digital tool applied to doggy bag to track consumers’ out-of-home behaviour. We measured whether and to what extent doggy bag solution can be considered an effective solution by collecting consumers’ dining behaviour and food consumption data together with individual socio-demographic and restaurant characteristics. Furthermore, a regression analysis on the micro-level data enabled us to untangle the mingled influencing factors. The second case-study leverages web-scraping to gather ordering patterns data on Too Good To Go (TGTG), a digital platform to promote food surplus redistribution from food service outlets to consumers, and thus prevents food waste in the food service sector. However, the platform's mechanism enables the food service outlets to publish their offerings much before the pick-up time, raising the question of whether the food sold on the platform is food surplus or planned production. We gathered the operational data by limiting the geological locations to two major cities in Italy's Lazio and Umbria regions. Findings contribute to improving discussion on this business model, but also indicate the level of TGTG’s food-saving effectiveness.