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The Promotion of Overconsumption and Food Waste: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Supermarket Flyers

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In the late 1800s, major shifts in manufacturing, media, and marketing began to take place. During this time, advertisements in the food industry boomed as mass-produced goods were readily available to the public. With the technology that we have today, mass-produced food items are even more abundant, and so are the advertisements for them. Many popular food advertisements that we see today revolve around concepts such as abundance, convenience and affordability, concepts that we value in Western society. This article attempts to uncover the reasons why food waste is so abundant in Canada by using content analysis and critical discourse analysis on nine different Canadian supermarkets’ flyers. This research led to two conclusions: 1) that different supermarkets use different marketing strategies to encourage people to consume in specific ways and 2) the supermarkets that advertise themselves as being the most cost-effective use more marketing strategies, most which include bundle purchasing.
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