The RECAPT project aims to support a process that will lead to a closer and more collaborative management of innovations along the food supply chain.
The overall objective is to build the foundation of an EU platform that strengthens collaboration between food scientists, food industry and the retailing and catering sectors, so that research findings can be used effectively in the development of innovative and sustainable products that will be accepted by consumers and thereby contribute to the global competitiveness of the European food and drink sector.
Novel food and drink products are traditionally developed by the food industry, supported by input from food science. However, there is an increasing recognition that innovation is a task for all actors in the food chain, including retailers and caterers. These actors perform an important bridging function, identifying consumer demands and linking them to food producers and food scientists who possess the technical know-how for the development of innovative food products and services filling those consumer demands. Furthermore, retailers and caterers are central to the diffusion of new food products, services or technologies to consumers.
RECAPT has the following strategic objectives:
- To promote information exchange and to facilitate trust building in order to enhance innovation-oriented cooperation among the actors in the food supply chain.
- To analyse all parameters and provide all necessary inputs for the realisation and viability of those collaborations.
In order to promote information exchange, facilitate trust building and enhance cooperation among actors in the food chain, a Collaborative Food Innovation Forum (CFIF) for effective dialog and collaboration between the food chain actors will be created. The CFIF will be a unique meeting place that will bring together actors from science, food manufacturing, retailing, catering and consumer organisations.
Based on input from the different work packages, the CFIF will discuss issues related to promising novel technologies, consumer acceptance of new products based on novel technologies, retailer and caterer adoption of new products as well as innovation management processes in the food chain based on input from the RECAPT partners. In this way, a comprehensive view of the parameters and inputs necessary for increasing collaborative innovation activities in the European food sector will be developed.
RECAPT draws on previous work in the areas of food technology, retail decision-making, consumer food choice, diffusion of innovation and innovation management. It will move frontiers of knowledge and contribute to high quality research mainly in four 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.