Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
At the retail level, 25% of sellable food is wasted, and perishable foods account for 72% of food waste in the United States. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the food waste reduction strategies used by supermarket perishable food department managers, which are covered under the Good Samaritan Food Donation Acts (state and federal). The participant population was comprised of 17 managers who are responsible for perishable foods departments (bakery, deli, meat, dairy, and produce) at local, regional, and national supermarkets in Midland, Michigan. Goal systems theory served as the conceptual framework lens for which the findings of this study are viewed. Data collected centered around long interviews and publicly available company documents. Interviews and field notes, including member checking, were transcribed and analyzed using NVivo software. Using methodological triangulation of these data sources, 3 themes emerged from the data analysis: the knowledge level of participants relative to the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, factors that influence food waste and management strategy, and existing food waste reduction strategies. Most front-line managers are not aware of the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. Factors that influence food waste include sell-by dates, personal bias, and food handling regulations. Existing food waste reduction strategies include donations, price reductions, stock rotation, and in-store repurposing. Positive social change may result from the results of this study if food waste can be further reduced or more food redirected to the needy. The study findings may be useful to supermarket managers as they consider the protection at the state and federal levels that the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act offers.