The Business of Food Waste: A Case Study of REMA 1000

Emma Storm & Mina Teigland

Student thesis: Master thesis


What sparked our interest was how an economic actor can contribute in the fight against food waste. We have conducted a qualitative study of how the grocery store chain, REMA 1000 Denmark, strategizes around food waste and valuation of food. We approached our research through a combined perspective of Valuation Studies and Strategy as Practice. By studying the case from this combined perspective, we aimed to make sense of how an economic actor strategizes around food waste, both in practice and from a business angle.
We approached our research from two aspects. Through the first aspect, we have focused on REMA 1000 Denmark’s practical enactment of their food waste strategy. By identifying the valuation devices REMA 1000 Denmark has produced with the intention of influencing the consumers to waste less food, we were able to describe how the food waste strategy is practically enacted. The ten devices we identified are: No Quantity Discount, Pay by the Weight, Soon-to-Expire Products, Smaller packages, Recipes on Products, Labels, Signs, Grocer Max, Webpage and Media.
The second aspect of the research relates to how the food waste strategy is economically viable for REMA 1000 Denmark as a business. We explored how REMA 1000 Denmark can capitalize on their food waste strategy, and the five benefits we identified are: Increased Trust, Improved Image, Frequent Shoppers, Financial Savings and Reduced Supplier Price.
The goal of our study was not to reach a generalizable conclusion. Rather, our research is an empirical contribution to the combined Valuation Studies and Strategy as Practice discourse, and may be applicable to similar cases as it illustrates how a grocery store chain strategizes around food waste and valuation of food.

EducationsMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages144
SupervisorsTrine Pallesen