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Open Sustainable Innovation in the Food Sector
Abstract: The food industry is facing a constant increase of competitiveness. In order to address the high competition that involve the food industry, sustainability and innovation practices can be strategically effective, especially the new "Open Sustainable Innovation" approach. The main objective of this study is to assess the Open Sustainable Innovation approach adoption rate, and how it could be strategically meaningful in the business practices of a company in the food industry. We observed that the adoption of an open sustainable approach in business practices could represent a strategic advantage to reach, at the same time, sustainability and business goals such as, for example: the costs and time to market reduction as well as company's environmental impact and an increment of the food security. Evidences of this work emerged starting from an overview of the state of art of the food industry from a sustainability and Open Innovation perspective. Afterward, we collected some case studies that have been done in the food industry about companies that have adopted and/or are adopting an "open sustainable innovation" approach in their business practices. By the analysis of these cases, we could gain a better awareness on the effectiveness of this approach on companies that operate in the food industry. In conclusion a critical analysis of the evidences emerged in the paper are discussed.
Keywords: Sustainability; food industry; open innovation; ecoinnovation