Design/methodology/approach: Food waste among consumers remains a great scourge affecting our world today. Scientific data and numerous reports show that food waste is a growing trend that has an impact on all stages of the agri-food chain. Recent studies provide valuable insights into how the Covid-19 pandemic has influenced consumer food habits, routines and wasteful behaviour at household level, appearing to show that increases in food waste ceased during lockdown. The authors propose Design Thinking (DT) not simply as a problem-solving approach but as a creative methodology by which the virtuous practices acquired by individuals to avoid food waste during lockdown might be maintained. This article supports the thesis that by applying DT it is possible to devise awareness-raising solutions aimed at encouraging the final consumer to maintain the good food management practices acquired during lockdown, in the long term. To support this hypothesis, two promising pre-pandemic awareness-raising campaigns put forward by design thinkers and practitioners to reduce food waste at consumer level will be discussed. Both initiatives confirm that the degree of awareness, understanding and assimilation of the ethical attitudes related to food waste can lead to long-term behavioural changes, bringing about a transition to desirable, feasible, viable, sustainable and responsible behaviour. Purpose: Food waste has been acknowledged as one of the main issues undermining the sustainability of our world, which is why its reduction has been included among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN's 2030 Agenda. Furthermore, some studies have begun to link the concepts of food waste and food security with sustainable food consumption, suggesting that if individuals reduce their food waste, they can improve their food habits, health and that of the community while contributing to the achievement of several SDGs. However, to date few studies have foregrounded the existence of a concrete connection between food waste initiatives and consumer awareness, and few scholarly articles have focused on design thinking and waste, including food waste during the pandemic, a gap which the present article seeks to fill. Findings: The results should inform an improved understanding of how empathy and creativity, two of the main determinants of the design thinking approach, can be used to promote and maintain sustainable food behaviours and ultimately reduce food waste among consumers by designing new food experiences. The CEASE (Communities, Engagement, Actions, Shareability, Ecosystems) design thinking model is proposed to maintaining food consumer behaviour and achieving zero waste. Originality/value: This study has a very original and multi-disciplinary approach. Indeed, in order to reduce food waste, if uses a design thinking approach, for the first time in literature, to enhance the engagement of individuals in fighting food waste.
Massari, S., Principato, L., Antonelli, M., Pratesi, C.A. (2021). Learning from and designing after pandemics. CEASE: A design thinking approach to maintaining food consumer behaviour and achieving zero waste. SOCIO-ECONOMIC PLANNING SCIENCES, 101143 [10.1016/j.seps.2021.101143].