Tyrannical Consumers - Initiate Value Creation in the Food Value Chain
Abstract: The modern consumers live in a transparent world with unlimited information and consumers adopt information strategies around who they trust and this is based on their values and experiences of food. Consumer question the information provided by the authorities and seek other sources of information such as the Internet and fellow consumers. There is a need for this consumer perspective in value chain research to get a better understanding of preconditions for fruitful consumer interaction in the food value chain. The overall purpose of this thesis is to identify what strategies regarding value creation based on consumer values are possible in the food value chain. In relation to the purpose of the consumer study in this thesis the focus was to understand different aspects of consumers thinking regarding food safety, which is the research object or phenomenon of the study. The point of departure was therefore how subjects, i.e. consumers, think about and relate to the phenomenon of food safety in their planning for meals and handling of food products. To get an understanding of the participants, consumers in the Field study, thinking about this issue a qualitative methodology, contextual analysis was chosen. The objective of this thesis is to bring about an understanding in what way consumers thinking on food safety place demands on the whole food value chain. Consumers receive through the transparency of Internet a tool to dictate the terms for modern retailing and the whole food value chain. The consumer has become tyrannical and places increasing demand on the food value chain. In a fully informed marketplace there is no excuse to under-perform and thereby companies that understand the new tyrannical transparency will be awarded. There is a need for collaboration in the food value chain in order to match the demand expressed by the consumer. Consumers demand is based on values and ambivalent behaviour and caused by to much information as we11 as that the consumers do not know who to trust regarding food. Consumers in the consumer study presented in this thesis seek a trust relationship regarding food safety with the retail store and the food manufacturer brand. Consumer thinking regarding food safety is also based on self-security, degree of refinement, ethical and environmental issues, hygiene and taste. The trust relationship is valorised by information regarding the product origin, craftsmanship in production, cooking instructions and other understanding of the product. Consumers’ trust relationships are different dependent on product group and consequently the product and productions story need to be in accordance with values directed at the particular produce. In order to develop value creation strategies the food value chain need to start interacting with the consumer and adopt the products and services in accordance with consumer demand. This value creation strategies are in this thesis describes in the Value Creation Model (VCM), where the whole value chain cooperates in order to deliver customized product and services to the consumers. The model is based on three levels consumer driven retail marketing, individual shopping statistics and valorised store activities.
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