Configuring ethical food consumers: understanding the failures of digital food platforms

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Digital food platforms are being launched, offering consumers convenient access to ‘ethical’ food. Ensuring the viability of these platforms hinges on attracting and retaining loyal customers. However, recent studies show that despite considerable efforts from market actors, stable platformconsumer relationships are rare in these digitalized food markets. The aim of this paper is to explore and explain why digital food platforms fail to produce stable ethical consumers. The paper draws on an
ethnographically inspired study of the meal box market to explore the socio-material configuring of consumers and the resulting consumer arrangements. The analysis shows that while the market devices of meal box providers worked to produce loyal and ethical food consumers, the consumers in this study were not loyal to any one meal box provider. This instability, the paper argues, was the result of both a restless market and restless households. The multiple, often conflicting, and, in some cases, unspecific consumer configurations intensified the households’ dynamic tendencies, leading to changes in diets and sustainability focus, the breaking of routines, and the continuous chasing of offers. Because of this, the consumer arrangements formed tended to unravel over time, making the production of stable ethical food consumers difficult.
Sidor (från-till)1-20
TidskriftJournal of Cultural Economy
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2024 maj 14

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Företagsekonomi
  • Tvärvetenskapliga studier


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