Sufficiency Business Strategies in the Food Industry-The Case of Oatly

Nancy Bocken*, Lisa Smeke Morales, Matthias Lehner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Food is an essential part of our daily lives, but simultaneously, it is a major contributor to environmental issues. The growing world population and changing diets are expected to further exacerbate the negative impact of food production and consumption. This article explores how sufficiency business strategies, focused on moderating consumption levels, can be implemented in the food industry to curb demand and thereby overall resource consumption. First, a literature and practice review are conducted to create a conceptual framework for sufficiency business strategies in the food industry. Second, a case study approach is taken to explore the application of sufficiency strategies at Oatly, a company offering plant-based alternatives to dairy. Semi-structured interviews and review of the company’s sustainability reports are used as key data sources for the case study. This study contributes to research and practice with a novel framework for business sufficiency strategies in the food industry. Although sufficiency implies consumption moderation, it is suggested that when a company substitutes the consumption of a less sustainable option, growth could be desirable. Future research can expand on viable sufficiency strategies for the private sector, but also strategies to engage different stakeholders, such as government, society, and academia, to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable food system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number824
Number of pages20
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Slow consumption
  • Moderate consumption
  • De-growth
  • Sufficiency business model
  • Business model innovation
  • Food business
  • Sustainable Business strategy
  • Sustainability
  • Circular Economy
  • USER
  • TOOL


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