Assessing the Potential of Born Global Companies in the Food Industry

Jannik Stühr

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the last few decades the internationalization of many new firms has changed its course, from an incremental and slow internationalization to a more rapid internationalization, often into many countries at the same time. This phenomenon particularly occurs in high-tech industries. Both researcher and practitioners have focus on explaining the characteristics and approaches of these firms classified as born global companies. Since these firms are often small but manage to compete with large multinational companies. In the sake of globalization, also smaller food companies increased their global presence. This thesis evaluates the potential of born global companies in the food industry. This will be done through a case study of a Chilean company that aims to internationalize into Europe. The results of the case company will be then generalized to portray a generic picture of the born global phenomenon in the food industry. Based on relevant literature, a framework was developed to guide the research. This framework mainly assessed the external factors that can influence the internationalization of the company, the internal factors like the firms’ capabilities and the industry context of the food industry to determine if this industry supports born global trends. In addition to the case company, empirical data in terms of expert interviews will be used to validate findings and to present a more holistic view. This thesis concludes that the potential of born global food companies in the food industry is low. The thesis finds support, that the food industry supports born global products, but most food companies are restricted in their scope of internationalization due to the specific, predetermined product properties, a born global product has to possess. Furthermore, the thesis depicts the location-related difficulties that arise when food companies aim to operate globally. Finally, the thesis finds evidence that a born global internationalization of the case company into Europe is uncertain.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages76
SupervisorsTorben Juul Andersen