Firms adaptation to climate change through product innovation

Climate change will impose high costs on different societal actors, including firms and organizations, forcing them to adapt to this new situation. Although the relevance of implementing adaptation strategies is widely recognized, studies on firms’ adaptation to climate change are still in their infancy, especially regarding small and medium enterprises. Following a multi-stage approach, we analyze how small and medium enterprises in the marine food industry could adapt to climate-induced ocean acidification through product innovation. First, we use a co-production process with the firms’ representatives to gain insights into the industry’s adaptation opportunities, in which product innovation arises as the preferred strategy. Second, using a Discrete Choice Experiment, we test if consumers value both the mussels’ attributes likely affected by ocean acidification (sensory and nutritional) and the proposed new products developed to adapt to it. We also analyze preferences’ heterogeneity through a latent class model. Our results show that consumers value the attributes potentially affected by ocean acidification. We found high heterogeneity in consumer preferences regarding product types, disentangled into two classes (non-innovative consumers and consumers willing to innovate). We suggest that the industry could base its adaptation strategy on two pillars: 1) maintain the traditional format, thus satisfying 21% of the market (non-innovative consumers); 2) direct the innovation efforts towards the canned format, thus satisfying those consumers willing to innovate (79% of the market). Although consumers willing to innovate are prone to try new formats, the preferred alternatives are not radical innovations.

Oliva R. D. P., Huaman J., Vásquez-Lavin F., Barrientos M. & Gelcich S., 2022. Firms adaptation to climate change through product innovation. Journal of Cleaner Production: 131436. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.131436. Article (subscription required).

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