• Nicklas Skov
  • Natascha Stenhøj Carlson
An increasing number of small food producers are entering the Danish food scene with the aim of establishing a sustainable business within a market that is dominated by conventional mass-produced food products. In order to get established in the food scene, the small food producer need to be especially aware of the requested quality parameters by the specific sales channels they are aiming for to market their product. This is crucial since it is the ‘food product quality’ that is used to mark product differentiation, and thus to promote sales. In relation to this, this study explored the case of the company Ø Laks, a company that is initiated and driven by the small food producer Mikael at Samsø, and produces cold smoked salmon. Specifically, this study aims to investigate the translation of the concept ‘food product quality’ according to four different sales channels and to assess how Ø Laks may be enacted with these sales channels.

The empirical material used for this investigation is based on semi-structured in-depth interviews with five representatives from four different sales channels with relevance to the case of Ø Laks. These include representatives from; the delicatessens store Boutique Fisk, the online food store Smag Danmark, the food market organizer Rebel Food, and the high-end restaurants Era Ora and Tårnet.
Actor-Network Theory (ANT) has been used as the analytical framework, together with the aspects involved in determining ‘food product quality’ according to the Total Food Quality Model (TFQM).

Based on this investigation, it was found that many of the narratives by the representatives from the sales channels are a part of a translation process where internal negotiations take place, regarding the construction of ‘food product quality’. In this, the translation is ever changing and never static, and human as well as nonhuman actors are continuously involved in the construction process. Overall, the translation of ‘food product quality’ varied according to the sales channels, in which it is an interaction between intrinsic and extrinsic product cues that form the translation. Furthermore, many elements in cohesion affect the enactment of Ø Laks, but the storytelling related to the product was mentioned by all representatives of the sales channels as having paramount importance. Thus, it is storytelling that is expressed as crucial to the enactment of Ø Laks within each of the sales channels investigated in this study. The storytelling should communicate the most crucial elements associated with the translation of the ‘food product quality’ of Ø Laks, which were expressed as being Mikael himself, Samsø as the context, and the production method (the smoking technique).
Publication date6 Jun 2017
Number of pages151
ID: 259248579