Purpose: The provision of information about food to consumers is well recognized to be problematic and complex. Novel approaches tend to adopt app-based services as a way for consumers to get better food information. Potentially, these services could provide relevant information to consumers because they could address particular needs by leveraging on context-awareness, ubiquity and pervasiveness. Do current app-based services actualize these potentialities? The purpose of this paper is twofold: to propose a methodological approach that can be easily adapted to conduct reviews of app-based services and provide consumers with information about food and to answer this question on a specified food information domain (namely, olive oil). Design/methodology/approach: A literature review was performed to investigate characteristics of food information services under a consumer’s value perspective. Then, a qualitative framework was built, which allowed a multidimensional analysis of the food information provided by a service through a mobile app. Moreover, an application of that framework on “olive oil” mobile apps was carried out, with the twofold objective of providing an example of application of the proposed framework in a real context and analyzing the role of mobile apps in reducing consumers’ information and knowledge gap in this particular domain. The review covers commercial applications on “olive oil,” available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Findings: A framework of multidimensional analysis of the two-way information flow in the interaction between a consumer/user and a food app-based service is proposed. The framework represents a useful tool to analyze the offer of mobile-based services in a given sector. The framework is then applied to perform a situation analysis of app-based services in the olive oil market. The analysis highlights that olive oil information providers do not seem to fully exploit recent advances in “Internet of food” technologies. Hence, results from our survey suggest some direction to conceive and develop innovative mobile olive oil apps that better exploit mobiquitous technology features. Practical implications: Consumers perceive a growing need of information about food. This need is mainly due to recent cases of adulterations, allegations of fraud and subterfuges that have invested food sector (in particular, olive oil sector). This research provides a useful framework to analyze some aspects of management of food information provision through mobile apps. Such a framework represents a practical tool that provides fruitful insights for the design of a new generation of food-app based services within the so-called “internet of food” domain. Originality/value: Although there are countless mobile apps aimed to assist consumers with their everyday food practices, little research has been devoted to investigate the impact of mobiquitous technologies on the management of food information provision to consumers. The available research lacks in defining an approach capable to analyze the relevance of information provided to targeted audiences by mobile food apps. This paper tries to fill this knowledge gap by proposing a framework that is based on a characterization of food information flows in terms of categorization, source and service features.

Analyzing app-based food information services: the case of Olive Oil sector

Felicetti A. M.;Volpentesta A. P.;Ammirato S.
2019

Abstract

Purpose: The provision of information about food to consumers is well recognized to be problematic and complex. Novel approaches tend to adopt app-based services as a way for consumers to get better food information. Potentially, these services could provide relevant information to consumers because they could address particular needs by leveraging on context-awareness, ubiquity and pervasiveness. Do current app-based services actualize these potentialities? The purpose of this paper is twofold: to propose a methodological approach that can be easily adapted to conduct reviews of app-based services and provide consumers with information about food and to answer this question on a specified food information domain (namely, olive oil). Design/methodology/approach: A literature review was performed to investigate characteristics of food information services under a consumer’s value perspective. Then, a qualitative framework was built, which allowed a multidimensional analysis of the food information provided by a service through a mobile app. Moreover, an application of that framework on “olive oil” mobile apps was carried out, with the twofold objective of providing an example of application of the proposed framework in a real context and analyzing the role of mobile apps in reducing consumers’ information and knowledge gap in this particular domain. The review covers commercial applications on “olive oil,” available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Findings: A framework of multidimensional analysis of the two-way information flow in the interaction between a consumer/user and a food app-based service is proposed. The framework represents a useful tool to analyze the offer of mobile-based services in a given sector. The framework is then applied to perform a situation analysis of app-based services in the olive oil market. The analysis highlights that olive oil information providers do not seem to fully exploit recent advances in “Internet of food” technologies. Hence, results from our survey suggest some direction to conceive and develop innovative mobile olive oil apps that better exploit mobiquitous technology features. Practical implications: Consumers perceive a growing need of information about food. This need is mainly due to recent cases of adulterations, allegations of fraud and subterfuges that have invested food sector (in particular, olive oil sector). This research provides a useful framework to analyze some aspects of management of food information provision through mobile apps. Such a framework represents a practical tool that provides fruitful insights for the design of a new generation of food-app based services within the so-called “internet of food” domain. Originality/value: Although there are countless mobile apps aimed to assist consumers with their everyday food practices, little research has been devoted to investigate the impact of mobiquitous technologies on the management of food information provision to consumers. The available research lacks in defining an approach capable to analyze the relevance of information provided to targeted audiences by mobile food apps. This paper tries to fill this knowledge gap by proposing a framework that is based on a characterization of food information flows in terms of categorization, source and service features.
App-based information services; Food information provision; Information value; Internet of food; Qualitative framework
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/300309
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