Research

Research

The FOOD team is presently working on several topics.

  • Online food sales

    Online food sales

    FOOD aims to increase the understanding on how the introduction of internet stores offering food affects sales in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Another question analyzed is whether the composition of products bought through the different channels differs. A master thesis is already written by Lundanes and Saltermark (2017) on this topic.

  • Individual pricing

    Individual pricing

    Digitalization of grocery stores allows for dynamic and individual price changes. We try to better understand how this affects sales and prices. For instance, how will various pricing strategies affect the sales of perishable products to minimize wastage? Will individualized prices benefit consumers or sellers? One master thesis (Chadoyan and Faramarzi, 2017) and one research paper (MAGMA, 2017) addressing these questions have so far been written.

  • Price portals

    Price portals

    There is a large focus on the use of price portals to increase consumer awareness on grocery prices. The benefit of price portals is twofold: consumers will better know which stores are cheapest, and products included in the portal is likely to become more competitive. However, there are also worries that price portals may facilitate price coordination across chains, and that prices of products not covered by the portals will be hiked. Focusing on the price portal ‘VG-børsen’, Cato Dirdal and Thomas S. Kristiansen are currently writing a master thesis where they analyzes prices for products within and outside the portal.

  • Border trade

    Border trade

    Norwegians living along the border to Sweden benefit from lower prices on the Swedish side of the border and undertake a significant share of their grocery shopping in Sweden. We will try to quantify better what are the most important factors affecting this trade and also estimate the size of these factors, combining Norwegian and Swedish data.

  • Productivity

    Productivity

    We work to establish better measures of productivity in the grocery sector. Partly by using data from SSB, but also by using data from the NG chains and by collecting data on the other chains. One master thesis on this topic looks at the SSB data and the internal NG chain data (Kay and Sørlie, 2017). Another master thesis focuses on differences in productivity and profitability across individual stores and chains, and examines how differences in ownership form affects these (Torsetnes and Vilhelmsen, 2017). 

  • Logistics and waste

    Logistics and waste

    There is a large focus on improving logistics and storage planning to reduce food waste. This is important for the profitability of the industry, but also for society at large. The project’s first master thesis on this topic focuses on the so-called ‘NG-flyt’ project, which automates the bread logistics at store level (Andersen and Aahjem, 2017). Presently, Elisabeth Daae and Ragnhild Leine Grebstad is writing a thesis on how the Spar chain’s strategy of reducing bread prices just before closing time affect profitability and waste

  • Local competition

    Local competition

    How does closeness of rival stores affect prices locally? By looking at store and regional demography, and prices in some local areas, we are able to track some of these price effects. So far this has been the focus of one of our master theses (Olsen and Olsen, 2017).

    Presently, master students Olav Vandvik and Martin Lysne Mathisen analyze prices in local shops that are exposed to large seasonal shocks in demand due to influx of consumers during the Easter and summer holidays. The pricing strategies of these stores are compared with those of similar shops not exposed to similar demand shocks in these periods. 

  • Product range

    Product range

    There has been a large discussion on the potential scarcity of products in Norwegian stores as compared to other national markets. So far we have focused on how peoples’ choices react to changes in product range. This is reported in a recent master thesis (Nyerrød and Tronstad, 2017). We will look further into this topic by following individual buyers’ consumption patterns.

  • Concentration and demography

    Concentration and demography

    Norway stands out as compared to most other countries with regards to the national distribution costs and number of grocery stores. We have gathered information for Denmark, Sweden and Norway on demography, grocery concentration and number of shops over time to analyze to which extent differences in demography can explain differences across these three countries. So far the results are presented in a master thesis by Drager and Vågene, 2017.

  • Loyalty programs

    Loyalty programs

    How does loyalty programs affect consumers and their choices? In their master thesis, Chadoyan and Faramarzi (2017) collect information about loyalty programs and customer preferences through a survey. They also analyze the effects of individual price offers to NG consumers.

    In another master thesis, Borlaug Skarbø and Sogn (2017) analyze the effects of the Trumf loyalty program’s tripling of bonus points on selected Thursdays. They investigate how consumer demand changes on these Thursdays, and in the days before and after.

    Inga Kristine Godø is currently writing a master thesis comparing the effectiveness of three different loyalty programs used by Norwegian retail chains. Her thesis is based on survey data.

    The FOOD-team is presently working on a project where we will empirically analyze the effect of moving individual coupons from paper to digital.

Published papers

Authors Title Publication

Øystein Foros, Hans J. Kind, Frode Steen

Individuelle priser i dagligvaremarkedet

MAGMA, 2017, (4), 44-49