Values of food leftover sharing platforms in the sharing economy

Tsan Ming Choi, Shu Guo, Na Liu, Xiutian Shi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


For many food products, such as fresh vegetable and fruit, proper handling of product leftovers is critical. In recent years, food leftover sharing (FLS) platforms that can provide a means to collect the unsold food products from individual retailers and create values from them have emerged. Motivated by this real world observation, we build a single supplier multi-retailer analytical supply chain model to explore the value of this kind of FLS platform. In the decentralized supply chain setting, we prove that the presence of FLS platform is beneficial to the retailers, the supplier, the consumers and the environment. Whether it benefits the supply chain economically depends on the logistics costs (incurred from the food product leftover collection by the FLS platform). We extend the analysis to the case with a centralized supply chain and show that the FLS platform is guaranteed to help improve the environment, but the consumers and the supply chain are only benefited when the logistics costs are sufficiently small. Sensitivity analyses are conducted which show that for both centralized and decentralized supply chain settings, the FLS platform is especially helpful in enhancing social welfare when the unit food product leftover cost is higher, the unit benefit derived from reusing the food product leftovers is higher, or the unit logistics cost is lower. We further consider the case when the logistics cost with the use of platform is high and propose the use of government sponsors to help and provide the conditions under which this sponsor is well-justified with respect to social welfare enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Platforms
  • Product leftover management
  • Sharing economy
  • Social welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Values of food leftover sharing platforms in the sharing economy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this