Mobile apps for green food practices and the role for consumers: a case study on dining out practices with Chinese and Dutch young consumers

W. Mu*, G. Spaargaren, A.G.J.M. Oude Lansink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Mobile applications (apps) have become popular among consumers to facilitate their
existing food practices like cooking, shopping, and dining out. However, the feasibility of using
mobile apps to facilitate sustainability transitions in food consumption is not well researched. In this
study, we, therefore, propose a conceptual framework to illustrate how mobile apps can be developed
in linking everyday food practices with sustainability transitions. Through the case study of dining
out and with the help of focus group discussions, we seek to illustrate that practice theory might
serve as a useful starting point for understanding the dynamics of food practices, their relevant
sustainability dimensions, and the ways in which mobile apps can be used for changing current
food practices into more sustainable ones. Among our main results are the findings that consumers
prefer the sustainability food app to be integrated with dominant or mainstream apps, which are
already used by consumers in the context of dining out. Besides being simple, functional, flexible,
and rewarding, the information provided by the app should be reliable and trustworthy. Moreover,
both science-based and practice-based information is necessary to provide sufficient guidance to
consumers on how changes in food practice can be operationalized and implemented.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1275
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019



  • food practices; practice theory; sustainability; mobile applications; transitions; consumption

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