Closer co-operation to strengthen the global competitiveness of the European food sector (RECAPT)

05 November 2013

Retailer and Consumer Acceptance of Promising Novel Technologies and Collaborative Innovation Management

There is increasing recognition that innovation is a task for all actors in the food chain, since innovation can be beneficial to the food chain as a whole and lead to sustainable novel applications.

Building on this idea, RECAPT aims to support a process that will lead to closer collaborative management of innovations along the food supply chain. The overall objective of this 3-year project is to build a forum that strengthens collaboration between food scientists, food industry and the retailing and catering sectors, in such a way that enables research findings to be effectively integrated into the development of innovative and sustainable products that are widely accepted by consumers. As a consequence, this should also benefit the global competitiveness of the European food sector.

A discussion forum for food scientists, food industry, retailers and the catering sector

The Collaborative Food Innovation Forum (CFIF) will be a unique meeting place where key actors can discuss issues related to promising novel technologies and the consumer acceptance of new products based on novel technologies. The adoption of these new products by retailers and caterers and the innovation management processes in the food chain are also discussion points on the agenda. This forum will allow the development of a comprehensive view of the parameters and inputs necessary for increasing collaborative innovation activities in the European food sector.

Research

RECAPT will draw on previous work in the areas of food technology, retail decision-making, consumer food choice, diffusion of innovation and innovation management. The project intends to build knowledge and contribute to high quality research in four main areas:

  • Consumers’ acceptance of new food technologies and decision-making with regard to innovative products
  • Decision-making processes of retailers and caterers in relation to including new products in their assortments
  • Enhanced retailers’ and caterers’ involvement in the collaborative development of new products, services and processes
  • Best models of innovation management in cooperation between producers and retailers

Expected outcomes

Increased cooperation in the food chain should enable food science and industry to convert research findings into products that reflect changing consumer demands. Consumers will then be able to benefit from a positive experience when discovering new foods.
Two main outcomes are expected:

  • Production of products and management of processes in a way that will induce economic, social and environmental sustainability
  • Increased generation of customer value, diffused along the food supply chain

Coordinated by Lars Esbjerg from the Aarhus University in Denmark, RECAPT gathers nine complementary research teams to analyse collaborative innovation management: Aarhus University, The German Institute of Food Technologies, Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University, The European Federation of Food Science and Technology, EHI Retail Institute, The Institute of Grocery Distribution, University of Stirling and the European Food Information Council.

For more nformation on the project, please visit the RECAPT website: www.recapt.org

This project is supported by the European Commission under the Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

Listen to a podcast by Lars Esbjerg, the Executive Project Director of RECAPT, talking about the aims and objectives of the project.