Economic viability of new launched school lunch programmes

Jørgen Dejgård Jensen (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Sinne Smed (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Morten Raun Mørkbak (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Karl Vogt‐Nielsen (CASA, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Marianne Malmgreen (CASA, Copenhagen, Denmark)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 28 June 2013



The purpose of this paper is to investigate determinants for the viability of school lunch programs with a zero‐price start‐up period.


Data sources include application material, questionnaire surveys among the pupils, parents, and staff at the participating schools, follow‐up telephone interviews with the staff, as well as interviews with suppliers. Data are analysed using principal components analysis and logistic regression.


An econometric analysis suggests that price, school size, demand‐stimulating activities related to the schools' support and the users' feeling of ownership, as well as internal professionalism and leadership in the implementation of the school lunch program are important for the viability of the program. These components may, to some extent, compensate for the gap between cost and users' willingness to pay for school lunches.

Social implications

The study contributes to increase awareness of the many determinants and barriers for the viability of school lunches. Experience from the study demonstrates a significant challenge in making user requirements for quality, product diversity and willingness to pay meet with the costs of supplying school lunches.


The focus on the economic viability on school lunches is a new approach to the topic compared to the literature, which mainly concentrates on the physical and environmental effects of providing food in schools



Dejgård Jensen, J., Smed, S., Raun Mørkbak, M., Vogt‐Nielsen, K. and Malmgreen, M. (2013), "Economic viability of new launched school lunch programmes", British Food Journal, Vol. 115 No. 7, pp. 1038-1053.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.