A service science approach for improving healthy food experiences

F.D. Mahr*, N. Kalogeras, G.J. Odekerken-Schröder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose - Insufficient attention to the specific nature of healthy food experiences might limit the success of related innovations. The purpose of this article is to adopt a value-in-use perspective to conceptualize healthy food consumption as experiential and emotional, rather than the mere intake of nutrition, and to examine the development of healthy food communication with a service science approach.

Design/methodology/approach - With a service science approach, this study proposes a virtual healthy food platform for children. The key data come from internal project documents, workshops with children and other stakeholders (e.g. parents, teachers), and interviews with project team members.

Findings - The simultaneity of functional and hedonic benefits, implications for multiple stakeholders, social norms, and need for expertise characterize healthy food experiences. The proposed framework accounts for enablers, principles, outcomes, and challenges affecting the development of communication integral to healthy food experiences, using project data and tools as illustrations.

Research limitations/implications - This study contributes to growing literature on service science by introducing key principles and contingency factors that influence the success of experience-centric service innovations. Quantitative research should validate the established framework and investigate the elements' relative usefulness for developing healthy food communication

Practical implications - The service science approach involves multiple stakeholders, empathic data collection, and visual tools to develop an entertaining platform to help children learn about healthy food.

Originality/value - This research conceptualizes and validates healthy food experiences as value-in-use offerings. The proposed service science approach accounts for the interactions among stakeholders, the holistic nature, and specificities of a real-life decision context for improving healthy food experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-471
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Healthy food
  • Value-in-use
  • Service design
  • Innovation
  • Service science
  • Experience
  • CARE

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