Innovation patterns in the food and food retail industries have been analyzed and compared with the more general patterns found in the manufacturing and wholesale retail sectors, evidencing the need for a thorough analysis of the most relevant determinants of technology adoption in these sectors. We find that the food industry, despite its relevance within manufacturing, is still characterized by a lower propensity to innovate. This fact is particularly relevant if one considers that technological innovation may have significant effects on firms' performance and thus it may affect their future growth perspectives. This is crucial in the current Italian economic framework, which is characterized by a general decrease in internal demand and by a sharp decrease in families' real disposable income. In this context, food industry firms may be able to expand their production by creating new opportunities with new and better goods, and/or by increasing their export capacity. The main stylized facts do support this view, and therefore reinforce the crucial role of firms' ability to innovate. We suggest that technological and non-technological patterns of innovation should be considered simultaneously, as the former typically implies the acquisition of internal (to the firm) capabilities brought about by other activities aimed at improving the internal organization, or at gaining a better understanding of market evolution. The estimation of the impact of activities such as marketing and organizational innovation on firms' innovation propensity and their performance completes an overall investigation of the food and food-retail industries, in order to highlight the opportunities and threats characterizing these sectors.
|Number of pages||91|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|