Re-distribution and promotion practices for suboptimal foods – commercial and social initiatives for the reduction of food waste
Article publication date: 21 January 2019
Issue publication date: 10 June 2019
The increased acknowledgement of the problems associated with food waste has triggered a number of social and commercial initiatives for the re-distribution of suboptimal foods (SOFs). This paper aims to explore a variety of such initiatives and discuss their prospects, considering the commercial contingencies of the food supply system.
The exploration is based on a multi-country study of cases representing three initiatives related to the reduction of waste from SOFs, i.e. social supermarkets (SSMs), food banks and expiration date-based pricing practices. The collected data comprise expert interviews, store-check observations and secondary material; the data are analyzed from a marketing practice perspective.
The analyses indicate that the distribution and re-distribution of SOFs are moving toward normalization, that the diffusion of expiration date-based pricing through all food retailing formats is likely to continue, that food banks – despite reports of dwindling supplies of SOFs – are likely to increase their expansion and that SSMs face a variety of challenges, e.g. as regards their supply of SOFs and their customers’ preferences for stable assortments.
By synthesizing data from various European implementations of re-distribution practices, this article contributes to the understanding of the viability of such practices. Developing this understanding should benefit social and commercial entrepreneurs, as well as policymakers, when designing and implementing initiatives for the reduction of waste from SOFs.
Bech-Larsen, T., Ascheman-Witzel, J. and Kulikovskaja, V. (2019), "Re-distribution and promotion practices for suboptimal foods – commercial and social initiatives for the reduction of food waste", Society and Business Review, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 186-199. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBR-11-2017-0094
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