One of the businesses to first adapt to the principles of circular economy was Happy Shrimp. Created in 2006, the Happy Shrimp concept was developed to use residual heat from neighboring power stations. Heated basins allowed the company to grow tropical shrimps in the Port of Rotterdam. Taking this approach, Happy Shrimp aimed to prevent the loss of energy and incorporate circularity in its business model. Furthermore, Happy Shrimp presented itself as an alternative to traditional shrimp production, solving severe ecological problems such as mangrove destruction and water pollution that the traditional value chain brought about. To emphasize freshness and quality, Happy Shrimp decided to distribute live shrimp similar to the distribution of lobsters.
For the realization of Happy Shrimp, the company had to go through several stages. In each stage, Happy Shrimp aimed to transform the existing business model of traditional shrimp farming. By addressing the main material issues the traditional industry faces, Happy Shrimp was able to develop its own, innovative business model incorporating sustainability.
In the attached document the full Happy Shrimp story can be found as a summarized version of IMD Business School case (IMD-3-1903). It contains the accompanying business model canvasses and the fast rise and fall of the company is described in more detail.
Transformation of the industry’s existing value chain model can provide novel opportunities for innovation. As the example of Happy Shrimp shows, it can also stimulate circular thinking. Happy Shrimp changed the traditional way of farming shrimps by adding a circular twist as they used residual heat as a resource in its production process and by distributing live shrimp in a similar way as lobsters. Happy Shrimp furthermore showed that partnership should be carefully managed to increase scalability of business models.
Based on the Business Model Canvas, Finch & Beak has developed a process for the creation of business models that are focused on sustainable innovation. Key elements in our approach are business design thinking, open innovation and circular economy transformation. In case you want to make your business “Happy” and develop circular economy business models, contact Jan van der Kaaij, managing partner at +31 6 28 02 18 80 or firstname.lastname@example.org.