Table of Contents
A survey in the form of semi structured interview was designed and presented in section 8.1. The survey was sent to 10 store managers of fruit and vegetable retailers. Out of these 10, six responded by completing the survey and mailing it back. This section presents the findings and analysis from the survey.
Method for analysis
Responses for each question from the respondents were analyzed to extract key words. These keywords were then used to form a contextual analysis of the findings. The analysis will be used to make recommendations.
Findings and Analysis
This section presents the analysis and findings from the survey administered to six respondents.
What factors encourage customers to buy organic foods? Some examples are healthy foods, chemical free foods, sustainability, fashion and lifestyle, etc.
Key words: “healthy foods, chemical free, status, toxic free, include environmental responsibility, social responsibility, chemical free food, health orientation, hedonic-utilitarian consumption”.
Contextual analysis and findings: For the key words mentioned above, chemical free, toxic free and healthy foods received the maximum response followed by lifestyle and fashion statement. These findings are important and show the direction that advertising campaigns should focus. Factors that encourage clearly indicate the wants and requirement of customers, and they look at them for motivation to make the buy decision. Organic foods are defined by certain characteristics such as chemical free foods, indicating that they are grown in environments without any pesticides or chemicals. Research indicates that farmers use an inordinately high amount of chemicals and these are absorbed by plants. A person who consumes such foods ingests harmful carcinogenic. Consequently, organic foods offer consumers the opportunity to eat in a safe manner. Research does not indicate that the taste or nutrient value of organic food is higher. Hence, such claims can be avoided. Another aspect is that consumers of organic foods like to advertise that they buy such foods. Therefore, the packaging should highlight this fact.
What factors prevent consumers from buying organic foods? Some examples are higher price, non availability, lack of brands, doubts about authenticity, others.
Key words: “higher prices, non availability, lack of authenticity, lack of brands lack of awareness, demographic variables”
Contextual analysis and findings: As per the keywords mentioned above, the maximum responses were for lack of authenticity and lack of awareness, followed by higher awareness and lack of awareness. The media sees many report of fraud, where false claims are made by sellers of organic foods. These fruits and vegetables are grown by administering fertilizers and pesticides, negating the very concept and belief of organic foods. The main statement of organic foods is that they are assumed to be chemical free. Therefore, when a few firms are caught selling standard foods as organic foods, the whole industry is tarnished. It is difficult to verify visually if a fruit is organic, since samples of organic and non organic foods have the same appearance. Difference in taste is not evident, except to an expert. Therefore, only the brand reputation can authenticate the product. Higher prices are inevitable, given the higher cost of farming and lower yields.
What elements of advertising campaigns can influence and motivate buying of organic foods?
Key words: “authenticity, toxic and chemical free nature, cost/ benefits, trackability, certifications, and availability.”
Contextual analysis and findings: A study of responses and key words indicate that authenticity, toxic and chemical free, and certifications, increase the motivation to buy. Availability is not a major issue since online purchase allows delivery at affordable rates. However, availability is an important factor for buying decision. Customers are generally aware of organic foods from media sources and from displays in store. Many of them even pick up the products, read the messages on the packaging, look at the price, and then abandon the product. More than the higher price, the cost to benefit details is missing. This aspect needs to be covered in the advertising campaign. Specifically, the issue is to make the customers understand the benefits they gain from consuming a product that is priced higher. Therefore, issues such as trackability or the ability to track the product and confirm its existence, the harmful effects caused by fertilizer and pesticide grown foods, and the brand reputation should be the focus.
How much influence does in-store advertising influence buying behavior?
Key words: “strong, very strong, medium, awareness essential.’
Contextual analysis and findings: Responses varied from very strong, strong, and medium, with all people indicating that for expensive products, awareness is essential. A research by Du Point indicated that 65% of buying decisions in retail stores were formed by in-store advertisement, and 50% of buying decision was unplanned and motivated by in-store advertisements. However, the ultimate decision to buy a product depends on the drivers and inhibitors analyzed in Q1 and Q2. For higher priced products such as organic foods, awareness is essential and this is created by advertising through traditional and online channels. People would view these ads, obtain information, and they would be motivated to pick up the products when they see in-store ads. Store and brand reputation are important and customers already buying products of a brand would be more inclined to buy a new product from the same brand.
Your opinions on running mass media campaigns?
Key words: “too expensive, cost to benefit not clear, segmented targeting not possible, difficult to measure results.’
Contextual analysis and findings: The responses indicate that mass media campaign would be very expensive and sales generated from such efforts cannot be measured accurately. Mass media campaigns consider ads on TV, newspapers, outdoor hoardings, newspaper inserts, etc. These campaigns cover the whole population, irrespective of their interest in organic foods. Such campaigns are acceptable for fast consumer goods such as toothpaste, staples, automobiles, insurance, etc. Effectiveness for niche products such as organic foods is not clear. While a couple of newspapers ads are acceptable, full campaigns may not be cost effective. The yield from such Ads is very low.
What channels and methods would you recommend for ad campaigns?
Key words: “STP studies, advertise in offices, gyms, parks, newspaper inserts in selected localities, vegetable vendors, in-store, online.’
Contextual analysis and findings: Maximum responses were for online ads with integrated marketing communications. Respondents also indicated tie ups with gyms and health clinics and parks, where fitness oriented people visit. Newspaper inserts are acceptable, provided they are placed in upper income localities and neighborhoods. Modern offices see a number of health and fitness oriented people with sufficient income to buy organic foods. Online ads with retailers are important since customers can read product information and buy the products. Vegetable vendors at street corners are important channels. However, these vendors have to be managed effectively by providing separate display stalls and even higher margins; else they do not have any motivation to sell the products.
Who should be targeted for campaigns? Females, males, Hispanics, Whites, African American, Asians, others?
Key words: “consumers dispersed across ethnic groups, STP studies important, higher income females.”
Contextual analysis and findings: Responses indicate that niche products such as organic foods are consumed by people from different ethnic origins. It is difficult to say if organic food consumption is limited to any specific ethnic group. Research suggests that people in the middle to high income group, fitness enthusiasts, and people concerned about their health and the environment are more likely to consume organic foods. Higher prices mean that budget constrained shopper would not buy these products. A study is essential to identify higher income and health conscious groups in different cities. Such people work in modern offices and reside in specific localities. The marketing campaign can then focus on these groups.
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Would customers be encouraged to buy branded organic products?
Key words: “authenticity, loyalty, trust, assurance, brand image, quality, fashion and lifestyle statement.”
Contextual analysis and findings: Responses indicate some of the reasons for customer preferring branded organic products. As seen in Q2, authenticity is a problem and media report has raised doubts about the truth behind organic foods. Branded products on the other hand, provide trust and assurance about a product and its quality. The brand label and outlet where the product is sold is seen as defining and infuses trust. In addition, a brand helps consumer to make fashion and lifestyle statements. Branded products, even if they cost more, provide a sense of security for consumers. The main problem is to establish the brand reputation for organic foods since FD does not won any farms. However, it can offer tracking of the food chain to show that the products are genuine.
How should FD develop the main elements of brand building strategy?
Key words: “salience, performance, user stories, imagery, judgment, feelings, resonance, brand equity, strengths. existing brand image.”
Contextual analysis and findings: Section 6 and 9 presented the SWOT analysis and the strategy for brand building and brand strategy. FD is already selling fresh foods and organic foods are an extension of the product portfolio. In other words, the brand equity, reputation, and customer base already exists. It can use various elements of brand strategy, explained in section 9, to create awareness of the new offerings. Customer loyalty, shown for its standards products should be captured for organic foods. The ad campaign therefore needs to focus on drivers and benefits while considering the barriers. In other words, the barriers such as doubts about authenticity and price can be turned into strengths by focusing on the certifications, credibility and other aspects that increase trust and chemical free food.
The previous chapter presented findings from the primary research. These findings, along with evaluations from previous chapters are used to present recommendations for FD.
- FD should carry out a market research to identify customers, regions, and varieties of organic fruits and vegetables that are popular and see the maximum sales. An STP exercise should be implemented to identify the important segments for targeting and positioning.
- Ad campaign should highlight the drivers and speak of the authenticity of the brand and health benefits gained from consuming organic foods. Since FD also sells standard non organic foods, the ad should not be very critical of such foods, else, people would question the safety of these foods.
- It is important to develop a catchy tag line, a jingle, and a mascot that help to identify the product as a separate entity. All promos and advertising material must use these elements.
- Channels for running promos must include online with Facebook, twitter, blogs, a separate website, as well as newspaper inserts. Managers of modern offices should be approached to allow FD to hold small meetings and product demos. Business parks should be approached to allow FD sales teams to set up booths.
- Food parks, food and shopping malls, and retail stores are locations where the maximum people are exposed to food related products. Awareness can be created by presenting pamphlets and literature on organic foods and offerings of FD.
- Authenticity of the product must be established through certifications, testing by FDA, and results of these reports should be mentioned. The new website should narrate stories of farms, with imagery, and explain the process used to procure genuine organic foods.
- Initial launch can take in place is large cities and groups with sufficient income can be targeted. Influencers and columnists of websites and printed media can be invited for product launch. They should be given gift packs and sales literature and encouraged to write about FD organic products. Efforts should be taken on creating word of mouth publicity in multiple media.
- Since Del Monte already has a large customer base, these customers can serve as the launch pad and to develop the initial volumes. With increased popularity and buying in stores, other consumers would show interest and buy the product.
- The focus should be on positioning the products as life style food items and not for single time buying. Volumes and value is created when organic food becomes a regular item of the shopping cart.
- Results of the campaign in terms of sales, word of mouth publicity, and customer queries should be monitored to evaluate the strategy. Changes can be made to focus on the most promising channels.
The research sample was made up of six managers of food departments in retail stores. The responses therefore are limited in scope, however, they are indicative of the broad sentiments on organic food marketing. Consumers of organic foods were not included. The suggestion for future studies is to include more managers and consumers. The larger and diverse sample will provide greater coverage.
The dissertation proposed that Fresh Delmonte should offer organic fresh fruits and vegetables as an addition to the product line. The demand for organic foods is increasing and a steady market growth is evident. A semi structured interview was administered to six managers of food departments and their views helped in developing a set of recommendations to run a marketing campaign. The focus of the campaign should be on creating a brand identity for genuine and authentic products, and to build customers trust. Online media channels with newspaper inserts, delivered in upper income middle areas are suggested. The recommendation is to launch the marketing plan.
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