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EMAC 2023 Annual

Reconciling B2B and B2C demands: Access-based triadic systems for reusable food containers

Published: May 24, 2023


Stefanie Fella, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf; Christoph Ratay, Technical University of Munich


In triadic systems, platform providers need to satisfy potentially divergent demands of two mar-ket sides. Yet, there is little empirical research on the challenges and opportunities platforms face in bridging this gap. With the example of access-based triadic systems for reusable food con-tainers, this paper takes a mixed methods approach to investigate how packaging-as-a-service (PaaS) providers can attract businesses and consumers. Influence factors are qualitatively de-rived and quantitatively tested in factorial survey experiments with 176 restaurants and 245 con-sumers. Our findings highlight the need to develop two distinct value propositions tailored to restaurants and consumers, respectively. As a result, the role of PaaS providers as both the owner of shared assets and platform provider posits challenges and opportunities for marketing differentiation. We discuss implications for providers of access-based services in triadic systems in general and PaaS systems in particular.