2. The Conceptual Framework
2.1. Identification and Description of Food Practices
2.2. Identification of Sustainability Issues in Food Practices
2.3. The Role of Mobile Apps as Interventions and Instruments for Co-Constructing Sustainability Transitions in Food Practices
2.3.1. Interventions and Forms of Co-Construction
2.3.2. The Role of Mobile Apps in Co-Constructing Sustainability Transitions in Food Practices
3. Methodological Aspects: Focus Groups with Chinese and Dutch Young Consumers
3.2. Instrumentation and Procedure
4. Empirical Results
4.1. Suitability of Mobile Apps in the Context of Dining Out
“By using apps, we could reduce asymmetric information. Before we go to the restaurant, we could get to know the restaurant, useful information on the menus (e.g., varieties, cost), feedback from the people who have been eating there. This saved us searching time in the restaurant, we could make pre-decisions”(Chinese participant).
“I have a quite complicated diet. Sometimes I need to check with the app if I can have a specific food, so yes, that changes my behavior.”
“Because of the app, we spent more time on the selection of the restaurant. Without the app, we would just go to the nearby restaurant, but now we may go somewhere that needs half an hour driving. So the overall practice takes us more time.”(Chinese participant).
“Mobile apps e.g., Google travel kind of lead you in the direction because you kind of base your idea on the review. You become less creative because you are not just going to a restaurant and see what it brings you, you read reviews beforehand, and make your decisions”(Dutch participant).
“Sometimes the promotion deal provided in the app is only available for four people. Although we are only three, we will still go for the deal for the good price, but we end up wasting food”(Chinese participant).
“We think that the concept of this future food app is nice. It can help our lifestyle become more healthy and digitalized”(Chinese participant).
“If the apps can, all the time, advertise healthy diets and explain the advantages of the healthy diet, maybe we can eventually change our diet for the sake of health”(Chinese participant).
4.2. Relevant Sustainable Issues in the Context of Dining Out
“Dining out is so special, I don’t want to think about sustainability in it, I care about the sustainability in my other daily activities. For example, I only eat meat twice a week, then I don’t think it’s a problem to eat meat when dining out”(Dutch participant).
“We think that the concept of developing food apps for improving the sustainability of dining out is nice, but you need to have the right target group. Like if you only eat out once a month, then it is not interesting or less interesting for you to see if it is environmentally-friendly or sustainable, you just go there for fun. But if you are a person in Amsterdam like a lawyer, I don’t know, or high level business person who eat out all the time, then maybe it’s good to have them think about going to more sustainable restaurants”(Dutch participant).
“But we do like local food. If a restaurant offers local food, then it’s good for eaters”(Dutch participant).
“For sustainability, we focus more on the economic side, we are all students, we check the price of the restaurant before we go there, price quality is quite important for us. For the environmental issues, for us it’s important to know the footprint of the menu, the weight of the menu, originality of the food.”(Dutch participant).
“I think that the menu selection is not a good idea, but restaurant selection can be helpful. So that I chose the sustainable restaurant, then what I do there, I assume to be sustainable”(Dutch participant).
“Another important issue is saving cost, so Meituan-Dianping (an App for group buying) can recommend you good price/quality or cheap restaurants and good promotion sales”(Chinese participant).
“Environmental sustainability and social sustainability should always be considered together with economic sustainability. Otherwise, it’s not going to work out”(Chinese participant).
“We think that food safety is very important. We think that healthy issues are more important. We care less about the environment.”(Chinese participant).
“We want the app to provide detailed information on the food (e.g., ingredients, nutritional value, calories, more precise portion size) so that we can get a balanced diet and do not waste food. In addition, we would like to have the function of food traceability”(Chinese participant).
“Apps maybe can provide how much did we waste, so that if we waste food all the time, we will feel ashamed and will try to improve. In general, we want the app to help us find the balance of having enough food and not waste food”(Chinese participant).
“As Chinese, when we treat friends, we want to order more than is needed to show our generosity. This often leads to food waste. The app can provide some guidance to cope with this culture issue and help us reduce food waste. In addition, we would like to know the food waste management of the restaurant. If they go for donating to the poor person, or use them for bio energy, then we feel better than doing nothing and purely waste all the resources”(Chinese participants).
“Because of the severe smog in Beijing, we also start to pay attention to the environmentally-friendly behavior”(Chinese participant).
4.3. Attributes of the Future Food App in the Context of Dining Out
“To make us use the apps continuously, it needs to be handy to use and help us save cost, e.g., constantly provide promotion sales. Not too many advertisement and unreliable information”(Chinese participant).
“We think the apps should be rewarding, simple, and functional, and also the social sharing is important because then you can sort of brag to your friend that I’m eating environmentally-friendly and being good to the world”(Dutch participant).
“We want to have the apps provide info on different types of restaurants, not on one individual restaurant. Otherwise, we end up with too many apps and we might delete them later on”(Chinese participant).
“We think that it should be collaborating with the existing apps (e.g., Meituan-Dianping). Otherwise, it’s too much repetition with other apps”(Chinese participant).
“We already use apps like TripAdvisor to review/compare restaurants and also find the nearby restaurants so that it will be easier if it iss integrated with the apps that are already being used, so you do not need to switch every time between apps. For example, in TripAdvisor, you say I want to go to this restaurant because of the good review, then you go to the other app that says this restaurant is not sustainable. Therefore, you have to switch around. That is generally annoying and you do not want to waste time on that. Therefore, we think it is better to integrate it”(Dutch participant).
“Give scores to the restaurant. You have an overall sustainable score for different restaurants. But also provide subgroups of sustainability scores for the restaurants (e.g., animal welfare scores, economic scores for people have special interests in certain aspects of sustainability). You can choose what is more important to you, so the rating is always generated user specific”(Dutch participant).
“If you develop the apps, we can indicate the kind of food and the price we want to pay. Then the app can provide a list of the most sustainable restaurants”(Dutch participant).
“We would like to have an intelligent app that can provide more flexible recommendations based on our requirement e.g., today I want to eat more healthy, or today I want to just relax and eat not so healthy but tasty food, or today I want to save money”(Chinese participant).
“The dining out app can be linked with the fitness app. For example, if I’m trying to keeping fit, the dining out app can provide what I can eat for my target”(Chinese participant).
“I do not want all my food practices to be recorded in the app. I can make choices myself, but if an app registers everything, then I also need to give input a lot. I do not want to be on my phone all the time”(Dutch participants).
6. Conclusions and Implications
Conflicts of Interest
|Sustainability Issues in the Context of Dining Out|
|Dining Out Food Apps for Improving Sustainability|
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|IT Technologies||Application Examples||References|
e.g., visualizing the effects of the environmental consequences
e.g., digitization of menu, traceability of ingredients
Internet of Things
e.g., link the tableware with the mobile apps to monitor the speed of eating
e.g., monitoring transition progress with self or others, making social connections through social media
e.g., provide personal recommendations based on the health status and personal preference
|Phases and Procedures in the Dining Out Practice||Interventions and Forms of|
Co-Construction for Sustainable Practices
Transportation mode Selection and Use
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