Mapping the landscape of Consumer Food Waste

John Harvey, Georgiana Nica-Avram, Marsha Smith, Sally Hibbert, Judy Muthuri

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Since 2015 there has been a surge of academic publications and citations focused on consumer food waste. To introduce a special issue of Appetite focused on the drivers of consumer food waste we perform a transdisciplinary and historical review of the literature through a co-citation network analysis and topic modelling approach. We show that the rapid increase in publications is largely attributable to an urgency caused by the Sustainable Development Goals and climate change. Topic modelling reveals that the dramatic quantitative increase of publications has also produced a variety of evolving themes, and that a metaphorical Cambrian Explosion is occurring after decades of academic inactivity. Network analysis results show that consumer food waste features in thousands of articles and hundreds of journals, but that the citation practices of academics are becoming highly concentrated, as 20% of journals attract over 80% of citations. Finally, by examining the burstiness and transdisciplinary structure of citation networks we show that though the field has historically been dominated by empirical articles, it is now starting to show signs of maturity as a flurry of review papers help to consolidate knowledge.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number105702
    Number of pages12
    Early online date21 Sept 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 Elsevier Ltd


    • Co-citation network
    • Consumer behaviour
    • Consumer food waste
    • Food waste
    • Topic modelling

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychology(all)
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


    Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping the landscape of Consumer Food Waste'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this