An economic model to analyse the costs of meal service provision to home-dwelling older adults

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

Various quality aspects are important determinants for home-dwelling senior users’ satisfaction with meal service, but cost concerns may hamper the supply of these attributes. With the objective to examine municipalities’ additional costs of different initiatives to improve the perceived quality of meal services for the home-dwelling seniors, the present study has developed an approach for cost analysis of meal service production and delivery. The developed tool may assist in assessing the cost implications of alternative changes to the mode of production or delivery of meal services – as well as the distribution of such cost implications across municipalities.
The developed model tool utilizes a mathematical programming approach and adds some features to this approach by considering the heterogeneity in customers’ preferences. As municipality-level data for costs of meal service provision are not generally available, a substantial effort to calibrate the model has been necessary. Therefore, some uncertainty may be attached to model results regarding cost levels in the individual municipalities, whereas the uncertainty regarding differences between alternative scenarios is considered to be less severe.
In a demonstration of the model tool, five different types of action to improve the perceived quality of the meals have been analysed. The analysis finds that three types of improvement (more diversity in menus, less semi-prepared ingredients in the production, more organic ingredients in the production) can be made at a fairly low additional cost, and one enhancement (larger flexibility in portion size) can be obtained at a moderate extra cost. One type of action (daily delivery of warm meals) is however more costly. The results display some variation in the incremental costs across municipalities, with both positive and negative covariations between the different types of action in the municipalities. This suggests that cost-effective improvement of perceived food quality in municipal meal service will require a municipality-specific combination of actions, and that also in the domain of meal service “one size does not fit all”.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDepartment of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesIFRO Documentation

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 250170281