Water as a factor of differentiation in the food industry


To foster their competitive advantage, food firms pay an increasing attention to strategies that tend to distinguish their products from the one supplied by their competitors, dedicating to this task most of their resources, knowledge and creativity. In such a framework, also the resource “water”, often seen as an homogenous product, is more and more utilized in the advertisement as an element that increase the quality of the final good. This paper aims to build a model that can explain the observed behavior in the different food industries and that can give some insights about the future perspectives of the utilization of the water as a differentiation factor. To reach this goal, first we present a survey of the commercials of specific food industries (beverages, pasta, bread, fresh produce) in which it is shown the contribute of water on the product. On the base of the empirical evidence, we argue that the propensity to use the water as an element of differentiation is greater when greater are the degree of technological knowledge, the consumers’ perceptions, and the importance of the differentiation strategy in that specific industry. Since we expect that these three factors will increase over time, we also conclude that it is rational to experiment a generalized increase of the utilization of the water in the commercials of the food products. We also recommend to extend the analysis testing the results using a quantitative approach.



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water, differentiation, advertisement, competitive advantage
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How to Cite
Nardone, G., & Zanni, G. (2010). Water as a factor of differentiation in the food industry. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 1(s3), 421-434. https://doi.org/10.4081/ija.2006.s3.421