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Consumer-led eco-development of food products: a case study to propose a framework

Chloé Thomas (USC 1422 GRAPPE, Ecole Supérieure d'Agricultures, SFR 4207 QUASAV, INRAE, Angers, France)
Isabelle Maître (USC 1422 GRAPPE, Ecole Supérieure d'Agricultures, SFR 4207 QUASAV, INRAE, Angers, France)
Ronan Symoneaux (USC 1422 GRAPPE, Ecole Supérieure d'Agricultures, SFR 4207 QUASAV, INRAE, Angers, France)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 23 March 2021

Issue publication date: 29 June 2021

381

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an agile methodology for the development of food products that has two key characteristics: (1) consumers are included as co-creators and (2) the assessment of environmental impacts plays a central role.

Design/methodology/approach

In collaboration with a French small-to-mid-size enterprise, a research-intervention approach was used to test the agile methodology designed, which features three iterative runs of food product development. In each run, prototypes were presented and modified with consumers during focus groups. Life cycle analysis assessed the relative environmental impacts of the prototypes. The research data from consumers were mainly qualitative.

Findings

The main result of this work is the implementation of a methodology to develop new food products in an efficient way by integrating consumers' insights and environmental concerns simultaneously. The method was successful in integrating consumers as co-creators and in drawing attention to the potential environmental effects of different prototypes for the decision-making process.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on a single case study. Thus, generalisation to other companies is limited. The authors invite further research focussed on different types of companies. The methodology and the tools could be modified to suit a variety of contexts.

Originality/value

This work addresses the need for guidelines to integrate consumers and environmental considerations into the food development process by testing an agile methodology with a company. It contributes to the scope of sustainable and consumer-oriented food innovation management.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the contributors to this project: the Région Bretagne for the financial support, the company GlobeXplore for allowing these experiments and the researchers Vincent Boly, Anne Saint-Eve, Catherine Renard, Jean-Marc Ferrandi, Gaëlle Pantin-Sohier, Gwenola Yannou-Le Bris, Cécile Grémy-Gros, Anthony Delamarre, and Aurélie Perrin for their academic support.Funding: The research project was financed by the Région Bretagne.Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Citation

Thomas, C., Maître, I. and Symoneaux, R. (2021), "Consumer-led eco-development of food products: a case study to propose a framework", British Food Journal, Vol. 123 No. 7, pp. 2430-2448. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-11-2020-1050

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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