What can we learn from the first ‘like meat’ business made in Italy? New Business Models for the Vegan Production

Demartini, Paola; Bernardi, Cristiana and Marii, Adriana (2023). What can we learn from the first ‘like meat’ business made in Italy? New Business Models for the Vegan Production. In: New Perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches to entrepreneurship: Proceedings 6th PISB Workshop 2023, pp. 11–30.

URL: https://journals.uniurb.it/index.php/piccola/issue...


Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of vegan or plant-based consumption/production, which is deemed to reduce environmental burden (Fresán & Sabaté, 2019) since the impacts of animal products can markedly exceed those of vegetable substitutes (Poore & Nemecek, 2018).
Our research focuses on sustainable business models applied to vegan production with the aim of scrutinising how companies positively impact people, the planet, and sustainable economic performance. Surprisingly, academic studies by management scholars on this matter are very rare, and we have discovered that most contributions come from researchers with knowledge and expertise in other disciplines such as environmental science or agricultural and biological sciences.
In light of the above-mentioned literature gap, first, our research offers an understanding of how sustainable business models can be applied to vegan production. Namely, we elucidate the concept of Circular Bioeconomy and its applications through biocyclic vegan production and cultured meat production.
Then we focus on a paradigmatic case study, a small Italian company that produced the first "vegan meat" Made in Italy, to find out if all the theoretical concepts we have previously discussed can be used as a lens to understand the dynamics of the sector.
Our research has not only theoretical implications calling for an interdisciplinary approach to advance management research in this field but also managerial implications for vegan food production, which is undergoing a phase of evolution both in terms of technologies and markets.

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