Framing value propositions in the food waste business: A sociocultural approach

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Food waste is a critical issue to all stakeholders in the modern society. While previous marketing research has addressed food waste from multiple perspectives, it has provided limited attention to the role of start-ups. Consequently, the purpose of this study is to explore how food waste start-ups communicate their value propositions to different stakeholders. We adopt an interpretive and sociocultural framing approach, and empirically analyse interview and documentary data from 24 different food waste start-ups. The findings from this study identify four different sociocultural frames (Salvation, Thrift, Innovation, and Normalisation) that start-ups in the food waste business use to communicate their value propositions and highlight the key features and mechanisms of each frame. This study advances contemporary B2B marketing research by demonstrating how food waste start-ups use sociocultural framing to create demand for and legitimise their novel solutions, and how sociocultural framing can be used to communicate value propositions. For managers, this study offers insights on how different sociocultural frames can be used to problematise, legitimise, and shape new business opportunities for tackling the food waste issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-222
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • food waste
  • start-ups
  • framing
  • sociocultural

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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