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Circular Food Behaviors: A Literature Review

Postgraduate Program in Management (PPGA), Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul 90010-460, Brazil
MAPP Centre, Department of Management, Aarhus University, 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark
School of Marketing and Communication, University of Vaasa, 65200 Vaasa, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Massimiliano Borrello and Luigi Cembalo
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1872;
Received: 31 December 2020 / Revised: 3 February 2021 / Accepted: 4 February 2021 / Published: 9 February 2021
Consumer behavior is crucial in the transition towards circular food systems. Studies so far investigate isolated circular food behaviors, but it is still unclear how the literature comprehensively addresses these behaviors. This paper provides an overview of the literature on circular food behaviors. Following a semi-systematic literature review, we analyze 46 papers related to circular food behaviors. We summarize their main features, categorize the behaviors, and propose a future research agenda. Results show the novelty and quick popularity of the topic, a dispersion across sustainability and agri-food journals, the manuscripts’ goals related to consumption, a predominance of empirical data collection in Europe, a focus on behaviors related to protein alternatives, food waste, and upcycled foods, and the importance of communication and consumers’ education. We categorize and characterize three types of circular food behaviors: linear, transitioning, and circular behaviors. Circular behaviors (i) are part of a systemic circular economy view, (ii) define consumers as “doers” or “prosumers”, (iii) pursue long-term sustainability goals, (iv) show a high engagement of skilled consumers, and (v) are supported by technologies. Future research should consider the social dimension of sustainability and pursue a systemic view of circular food behaviors. We suggest that a circular food-related lifestyle may incorporate the recommended directions. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular economy; consumer behavior; food sector; circular food behavior; semi-systematic review circular economy; consumer behavior; food sector; circular food behavior; semi-systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

do Canto, N.R.; Grunert, K.G.; De Barcellos, M.D. Circular Food Behaviors: A Literature Review. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1872.

AMA Style

do Canto NR, Grunert KG, De Barcellos MD. Circular Food Behaviors: A Literature Review. Sustainability. 2021; 13(4):1872.

Chicago/Turabian Style

do Canto, Natália R., Klaus G. Grunert, and Marcia D. De Barcellos 2021. "Circular Food Behaviors: A Literature Review" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 1872.

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