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Redesigning firms' and stakeholders' value in the food and beverage industry: initiatives beyond sustainability

Special issue call for papers from British Food Journal

Guest edited by:

Prof. Demetris Vrontis
School of Business - University of Nicosia

Dr. Gabriele Santoro
Department of Management - University of Turin

Dr. Chiara Civera
Department of Management - University of Turin


The food and beverage (F&B) industry has undergone profound transformations over the past decades (Vrontis et al., 2016; Bresciani, 2017) and is currently facing increasingly complex challenges (Civera et al., 2018).  Furthermore, the F&B industry is a fragmented panorama of multiple and diverse food and beverage sectors (European Consortium for Sustainable Industrial Policy (ECSIP), 2016), which change the nature of innovation, sustainability and responsibility and prevent scholars from providing common frameworks, management models and business behaviours to cope with both challenges and changes.

A renovation in F&B values, products, business models and implications is happening all over the world (Tell et al., 2016). Food is no longer simply a matter of satisfying a nutritional purpose; instead, it responds to global logics, most of the times, even when F&B items are perceived to be local. The fact that firms need to maintain the food-feeding connection while reconstructing strong links with the local economies, stakeholders along the value chain, their communities and cultures (Cacciolatti et al., 2015) posits an orientation to multi-stakeholder dialogue, value co-creation (Santoro et al., 2018), jointness of interests (Strand and Freeman, 2015), creative business models (Bresciani et al., 2016; Franceschelli et al., 2018). This "redesigning" seems to go beyond the mere achievement of sustainable and social outcomes and can lead to an integrated competitive advantage, based on new and different assumptions (Conto et al., 2014; Freeman et al., 2018).

This resulted in an extensive academic and practical call for initiatives and practices that are integrated into the firms’ core business and function as catalysts to reconfiguring their approach to markets, societies and stakeholders – in terms of business models, processes or value chains renovation or redesign. Accordingly, academic contribution about F&B firms’ initiatives of innovation toward sustainability, CSR and sustaining competitiveness in a fair and balanced way is extensive (Yunus et al., 2010; Stokes et al., 2013). However, it appears to be lacking of apparently common frameworks and models, underlying factors, strategic postures, and behaviours that can facilitate and guide a shift of the F&B industry to more integrated outcomes of innovation, sustainability and responsibility, in both value chains and business models.

Aims and Scope

Based on the discussion thus far, it can be argued that we have limited knowledge on how innovation, responsibility and sustainability can integrate into the firms' core business to re-design and/or redefine business models, processes and value chains within F&B firms of any size, operating in various sectors. There are even fewer studies on how innovative and sustainable business models are set up in order to fit and integrate with the original core business to provide newer social and environmental outputs that go beyond sustainability.

Given the aforementioned challenges and the many difficulties in homogenizing the discourse on the F&B industry, this special issue is an attempt to outline common flows and flaws of integrating innovation, sustainability and responsibility by F&B firms as well as a chance to illustrate how business model reconfiguration, in this sense, happens and what are the common criteria and outcomes within the industry.

In a larger sense, papers can investigate both private strategies of firms pursuing innovative business models as well as public policies and multi-stakeholder initiatives seeking to fostering innovative and sustainable practices of private companies and their partners along the value chain.

Following are some indicative, but not exhaustive areas of research, relevant to this special issue:

  • Business Model Innovation in the food and beverage industry;
  • Sustainable Business Models and practices in the food and beverage industry;
  • Integrating Company Responsibility in the core business model of food and beverage firms;
  • Responsible Communication of food and beverage firms' innovations and sustainable practices;
  • Public Policies, Public-Private Partnerships and multi-stakeholder initiatives for sustainable development in the food and beverage industry;
  • Innovation for sustaining competitiveness of food and beverage firms;
  • Coping with ethical paradoxes in food and beverage through business models renovation;
  • Value creation and co-creation in food and beverage industry;
  • Sustainable and Social Innovation for redesigning food and beverage supply chains and relationships;
  • Sustainable and Social Innovation for redesigning business models and food and beverage items;
  • Waste management and innovation in food and beverage firms;
  • Responsible practices to favour sustainable consumption.


  • Submissions Portal Open: 7th January 2019
  • Submission Deadline: 31st March 2019
  • Notification of Acceptance/Revisions: 31st May 2019
  • Final paper production deadline: 31st October 2019
  • Publication Date: expected by 31st December 2019

How to submit

Submissions to British Food Journal are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at

All submitted papers are expected to fully comply with BFJ standards and are subject to regular review procedures. Papers should be 4,000 to 7,000 words in length and should not have been published previously nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere in any other format (print or electronic).

Full Author Guidelines, including creating an account and submitting a paper, can be found on the website.  Please ensure you select the “Redesigning firms' and stakeholders' value in the food and beverage industry: initiatives beyond sustainability” special issue option when submitting your paper, otherwise your paper will be considered for a regular issue. Final acceptance of approved papers will be contingent on incorporating reviewers’ feedback to the satisfaction of the Guest Editors.


Bresciani, S. (2017). Open, networked and dynamic innovation in the food and beverage industry. British Food Journal, 119(11), 2290-2293.

Bresciani, S., Giacosa, E., Broccardo, L., & Culasso, F. (2016). The family variable in the French and Italian wine sector. EuroMed Journal of Business, 11(1), 101-118.

Cacciolatti, L. A., Garcia, C. C., & Kalantzakis, M. (2015). Traditional food products: The effect of consumers’ characteristics, product knowledge, and perceived value on actual purchase. Journal of international food & agribusiness marketing, 27(3), 155-176.

Civera, C., de Colle, S., & Casalegno, C. (2018) Stakeholder engagement through empowerment: The case of coffee farmers. Business Ethics: A European Review. (18), 1-19.

Conto, F., Vrontis, D., Fiore, M., & Thrassou, A. (2014). Strengthening regional identities and culture through wine industry cross border collaboration. British Food Journal, 116(11), 1788-1807.

Franceschelli, M. V., Santoro, G., & Candelo, E. (2018). Business model innovation for sustainability: a food start-up case study. British Food Journal, 120(10), 2483-2494.

Freeman, E. R., Civera, C., Cortese, D., & Fiandrino, S. (2018). Strategising stakeholder empowerment for effective co-management within fishery-based commons. British Food Journal.

Santoro, G., Bresciani, S., & Papa, A. (2018). Collaborative modes with Cultural and Creative Industries and innovation performance: The moderating role of heterogeneous sources of knowledge and absorptive capacity. Technovation.

Santoro, G., Vrontis, D., & Pastore, A. (2017). External knowledge sourcing and new product development: evidence from the Italian food and beverage industry. British Food Journal, 119(11), 2373-2387.

Stokes, D. P., Moore, D. N., Brooks, D. S., & Wells, P. C. A. J. (2013). Sustainable and responsible business: focal cases, sectors and contexts. EuroMed Journal of Business, 8(3).

Strand, R., & Freeman, R. E. (2015). Scandinavian cooperative advantage: The theory and practice of stakeholder engagement in Scandinavia. Journal of Business Ethics, 127(1), 65-85.

Tell, J., Hoveskog, M., Ulvenblad, P., Ulvenblad, P. O., Barth, H., & Ståhl, J. (2016). Business model innovation in the agri-food sector: A literature review. British Food Journal, 118(6), 1462-1476.

Vrontis, D., Bresciani, S., & Giacosa, E. (2016). Tradition and innovation in Italian wine family businesses. British Food Journal, 118(8), 1883-1897.

Yunus, M., Moingeon, B., & Lehmann-Ortega, L. (2010). Building social business models: Lessons from the Grameen experience. Long range planning, 43(2-3), 308-325.