The discursive legitimation strategies of a nascent market
Since the introduction of Gold&Green Foods Ltd’s Pulled Oats (Nyhtökaura) to the Finnish market in the spring 2016, the Finnish media has been increasingly reviewing different plant-based protein products. Gold&Green Ltd’s Pulled Oats has experienced extensive media coverage amongst other Finnish plant-based protein products which have been launched during 2016 such as VersoFood Ltd’s Härkis, Viipurilainen Kotileipomo’s Puhtikaura etc. It has yet to be seen whether the sudden inception of several plant-based protein product innovations will be defined as a pivotal era in the Finnish food industry or just a passing trend. Finnish media has aldo categorized MiFu as one of the up and coming food innovations and reviewed it beside Pulled Oats and Härkis. In this paper, the legitimation of plant- and dairy-based proteins is going to be studied. The purpose of this paper is to find out what kind of discursive legitimation strategies are used in the Finnish media and how the consumers perceive this phenomenon. The analysis of the media sources will be cross-compared with the findings of the semi-structured consumer interviews to gain insight of the categorization the nascent and audiences’ legitimation strategies of the plant- and dairy-based protein market in Finland. The findings will be studied intertextually to find correlations and linkages between the two text sources. The suitable method for this study is critical discourse analysis (CDA). The key concept or the umbrella term in this paper, which relates to all the theoretical concepts is the categorization literature in the management studies. Categorization literature, or categories research is a rather new stream of research in the management studies. Historically speaking, it has initiated from the cognitive psychology and how firms categorize themselves (Porac, Thomas & Baden-Fuller, 1989). Based on the findings, five legitimation strategies that Finnish media used were identified. The legitimation strategies were identified from of the individual texts, the intertextual totality, power implications from the tone of the identified from the empirical data and also the discursive practices used in the empirical data. ...
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