In the context of circular economy, food waste represents an important challenge. Recently some initiatives emerged in fighting and preventing food waste using digital technologies. Food sharing platforms allow individuals and businesses (e.g. retailers, producers, local shops) to share surplus food to other platform users. Our study aims at exploring which models are adopted in food sharing practices based on market orientation (for-profit or non-profit) and market structure (peer-to-peer or business-to-peer), and their contribution to the food waste prevention. Using content analysis, our results indicate there are two typologies of social initiatives and two prevailing business models: social sharing platforms, corporate social sharing platforms, social eating platforms (SE business model) and food alerting platform (FAP business model). Despite the positive social and environmental impact, these initiatives have to face some criticisms due to the lack of a dominant player and the high fragmentation of users among the existing platforms.
Keywords: Food sharing platform, circular economy, food waste, innovative business model, social initiative
Jel Code: M00, M140, O35, Q56