A cross-disciplinary, transnational and participative approach to Alpine food cultural heritage

Work Package 2: Identification of best practices in the collective commercial valorisation of Alpine Food Intangible Cultural Heritage

If appropriately promoted, Alpine Food Intangible Cultural Heritage, can become an intangible asset based on experiential/symbolic elements that differentiates products and services in the eyes of tourists and other consumers.  We identified best practices in commercial valorisation then we linked heritage with consumer culture and marketing with internal participative processes to provide actionable knowledge on sustainable development (km0, food waste reduction).

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1 - Mapping Intangible Cultural Heritage Alpine Food commercial valorisation practices and designing field studies

Analysis of secondary sources (news media, online sources, academic research) to identify best/worst practices in the commercial valorization and exploitation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Alpine Food. This results in a map of the existing practices (typologies, actors involved, etc.) across the Alpine Space and an initial understanding of obstacles to and facilitating factors in collective marketing initiatives, which provide the input for other activities, field studies and digital ethnography. 

Documents and results

2 - Field studies of relevant cases of success

In-depth studies of selected success cases in the commercial exploitation of Alpine Food Intangible Cultural Heritage through interviews with key actors, field observation of commercial enterprises, events, and consumers, analysis of promotional texts and other artifacts. The analysis also reconstructs key internal processes (mobilization of local actors towards common collective marketing initiatives) and external dynamics (role of non-local market actors in the commercial valorization of local offerings).

3 - Digital ethnography of market responses and consumer meanings

This activity employs an innovative research method, digital ethnography, to analyze online social networks (Tripadvisor, etc) to identify market responses to and consumer appreciation of Alpine Food products, services, experiences and events and constituting elements of the ‘Alpine Food Intangible Cultural Heritage’ collective brand. This let us understand the meanings consumers attribute to Alpine Food Heritage and to what extent it can become a source of differentiation in today’s hypercompetitive market.

4 - Comparative analysis and development of educational, policy & managerial guidelines

We critically assessed findings from desk research, in-depth studies and digital ethnography and compared them to key elements of the Alpine Food Intangible Cultural Heritage as understood by local actors in the Alpine Space. So, we were able to identify best practices in internal mobilization processes and collective marketing initiatives to turn Alpine Food Intangible Cultural Heritage into market offerings appreciated and perceived as authentic by tourists and consumers. Also, this identification of best practices makes it possible to identify and fill local actors’ competence gaps.