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Value-creating business models in the food industry

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Within ECHO framework a reference group, with representatives from the food industry, has been formed to discuss how the industry may take greater responsibility for childhood obesity and move towards more sustainable and value-creating business models.

The reference group includes representatives from the Swedish Food Retailers Federation, the Swedish Food Federation, the Swedish Food Agency, the Stockholm Consumer Association and ICA Gruppen. The Swedish Food Retailers Federation and the Stockholm Consumer Association are not formal parties in Ending Childhood Obesity, but have nevertheless chosen to set aside resources to participate in the reference group.

Exploration

-We are really happy for the commitment. It is important that we have representatives from several levels and that we can talk about challenges and opportunities in an open and exploratory way. No one can answer what the new business models should look like and we now have the opportunity to cooperate in a way we are not used to, says Awa Karlsson, Innovation leader in health at Innovation Skåne, who leads the group.

The reference group is part of work package 5 within Ending Childhood Obesity (ECHO), which works with incentives, compensation and business models. The goal is to create basic conditions for players in the food industry to find business models that create incentives that promote and equal health.

Consensus

The reference group has met twice during 2021 and discussed the challenges and opportunities that exist today and what can be done differently in the future. To create further consensus on what the challenges are, and what the way forward may look like, the group will meet in November and conduct a workshop led by 10X Arena.

-In our work to help companies and organizations become more innovative and systematically formulate new ideas, and then build on those ideas, we have seen that it is very valuable, but difficult to achieve a common picture of such complex information as future planning is, says Sebastian Sjöberg from 10X Arena.

Instead of trying to meet through words, whiteboards and post-it notes, the group gets to meet in the board game-like tool “How to map the future” where they will jointly create a map and build a game board where, for example, trees, rivers and dark clouds represent different things. Then the actors can place themselves on the map.

Creative thinking

-It is a playful strategic planning tool to formulate what the participants think about complex and unknown factors, says Sebastian Sjöberg and adds that it will also be a fun way of working for the participants. New solutions are found by stimulating creative thinking in a way that makes it possible to challenge given truths and get around pitfalls where what is perceived as impossible can be reconsidered.

An important starting point has been to create a group where the participants with great sensitivity can discuss based on their professions and together see how they in their different roles can contribute to creating the best conditions for each other and to jointly contribute to change.

-If everyone starts from what they can do to create the best conditions for someone else to be able to do something, then we can start putting the pieces of the puzzle in place, says Awa Karlsson.