Conventional food retailers’ communication on sustainability on LinkedIn: Analysis of selected German supermarkets and discounters

Tara Sadeghi-Esfahlani, Vera Bitsch


Food retail chains are the intermediaries between most consumers and the other supply chain actors. In this pivotal role, they have the opportunity to contribute to both sustainable consumptions and production patterns. Among the many potential communication channels, which food retailers can use to communicate with different stakeholder groups, social media have become more important during the past decade. Using thematic analysis, the current study analyzed German food retailers’ sustainability communication on the social media channel LinkedIn, for one year. All food retail chains analyzed used LinkedIn for sustainability communication extensively. They communicated on topics of each of the three pillars of sustainability, but predominately on environmental topics. There was no systematic difference in the number of posts between supermarket and discount chains. While all chains seemed to appreciate the professional environment provided by LinkedIn for their sustainability communication, style and use of visuals differed among the retailers analyzed.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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