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Spontaneous variety-seeking meal choice in business canteens impedes sustainable production

Ohlhausen, Pascal; Langen, Nina

Sustainable meal choices in the out-of-home catering market are essential to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. This study investigated consumers’ acceptance of different features that help service providers to work more sustainably. For this purpose, data of a choice experiment and a supporting online questionnaire were analyzed using latent class analysis (LCA) and the data of n = 373 employees. Examined attributes in the choice experiment were menu variety, menu type, ordering system, ingredients and price. LCA led to four consumer segments: variety seekers (27.6%), spontaneous decisionmakers—vegetarian (25.7%), spontaneous decisionmakers—meat (24.1%) and vegetarians/vegans (22.6%). Results showed that consumers in all four segments expected to have the choice between different menus in company canteens. Moreover, they preferred spontaneous choice to preordering. Both preferences hamper sustainable production and consumption in the catering sector.
Published in: Sustainability, 10.3390/su13020746, MDPI