Investigating the feasibility of supply chain-centric business models in 3D chocolate printing: A simulation study

Fu Jia, Xiaofeng Wang*, Navonil Mustafee, Liang Hao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


3D chocolate printing provides the technology for manufacturing chocolates layer-by-layer, thus offering customers enhanced product value and personalized consumption experience. As business models in the chocolate industry are closely associated with the profitability of the supply chain constituents, it seems appropriate to investigate the financial viability of these supply-chain centric business models prior to their introduction in the real world. In this paper we present two business models pertaining to the supply chain for 3D printed chocolates; we evaluate the financial viability of these innovative models through the use of computer modelling and simulation. The study is based on the commercialization efforts of a UK based 3D chocolate printing technology provider (Choc Edge). The results of the study indicate that 1) the retailer dominant supply chain model is a potentially disruptive business model innovations that are enabled by the 3D food printing technology, and as such, may pose a challenge to traditional high end chocolate products; 2) the manufacturer dominant model helps manufacturers gain more profits while retailer profits tend to be stagnant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-213
Number of pages12
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • 3D chocolate printing
  • Business model innovation
  • Case study
  • Simulation
  • Supply chain management

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