Tech in the Food Industry: How Digital Platforms are Shaping the Way we Consume: Exploratory Case Study

Anika Schröder & Henrik Bøgestub Darring

Student thesis: Master thesis


The food industry is a rather complex network of different entities, most of which add value to the product while also creating conditions for resource waste. A quick fix has proven to be illusory and increasing the efficiency of the food system will require an extensive, collaborative effort by governments, businesses, and consumers alike. The following case study provides insights into the dynamics that affect emerging platforms within the food sector. It assesses how their solutions are mitigating market inefficiencies and recognizes the push towards a more sustainable food industry. The paper redefines three categories from Aschemann-Witzel et al., (2017) on key characteristics of initiatives in the food industry, allowing for their application to emerging digital platforms. The adapted categories accommodate three types of initiatives: platforms that focus on actions that prevent food waste in the supply chain, platforms that tackle food waste across the supply chain via redistribution to consumers, and platforms that assist consumers in attaining more sustainable habits through skill development and knowledge sharing. The findings reveal that the platforms are inducing changes, as they can pursue business opportunities that traditional actors have been unable to take. They are tackling the inefficiencies in three distinct ways: better matching between supply and demand, combining food waste avoidance with a moderately priced product, and altering consumer behavior through innovative and playful technology. However, we found that these platforms do not only impact traditional stakeholders in the food industry; they also create a broader social impact by looking for holistic solutions to reshape an inefficient food supply chain.

EducationsKandidatuddannelse i Innovation and Entrepreneurship, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages131
SupervisorsIoanna Constantiou