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© Food – a fact of life 2009 The Consumer Market Extension/Foundation DRAFT ONLY
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Learning objectives To understand the terms consumer, saturated and niche market. To identify different target groups. To appreciate the different types of market research that are available.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 What is the consumer market? The consumer market is made up of all the people who make decisions about what to buy and what not to buy. Everyone who buys products or services is a consumer.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 What is the consumer market? ‘Market’ has a special meaning – relating to the likely demand for a product or service. Over time the size of the population of a particular country may not change dramatically, so the consumer market is fixed in size. This means that manufacturers and retailers must compete for business and try to maintain or increase their share of the market.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 The Consumer Market The maintenance of regular large sales by food manufacturers and retailers benefits the wider community by providing employment for large numbers of people. It also boosts local and national economies by promoting cash flow from one area to another. Therefore it is important that companies monitor trends in their sales and continually review the range of products they make, to keep their sales figures high.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Saturated market If one type of product, such as baked beans, is popular for a long time, there will come a time when sales cannot be improved by the introduction of new brands. The market has become ‘saturated’. Companies may therefore diversify product lines in order to create new markets. For example, the baked bean market was diversified by offering the product with flavoured sauces, such as barbeque or curry, or by adding burger bites.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Target group To offer a greater choice of products and reach a larger portion of the consumer market, companies often target groups of consumers who are similar in one respect. This may be their age, income, taste, lifestyle, health or beliefs. Foods are then produced to meet their needs. The product range is designed to meet the needs of the particular types of consumer, such as children or single people or slimmers.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Niche market Some product lines are not expected to sell in vast amounts, but they fill a special gap or ‘niche’ in the market. A ‘niche market’ is usually based on a reaction to a trend in consumer purchasing. Environmental concern has resulted in consumers developing a greater interest in the way products and packaging is made, so many manufacturers have reacted by producing environmentally friendly products and packaging.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Niche market Products such as ready meals have been devised to provide convenience for those with a busy life and little time to cook. ‘Premium priced’ (luxury products), have been developed with consumers aspiration for status and/or a higher disposable income in mind.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Market share Companies compete with one another to sell their products and increase their market share. In order to compete effectively, information is needed about why consumers buy some products in preference to others. This information can be collected through a variety of market research methods. It is important that food companies continue to look at their sales figures and review their product range in order to keep and increase their share of the market.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Market research Companies need to keep up to date information about factors affecting patterns in consumer purchasing, such as: price; consumer preferences; availability of and level of demand for products in different areas of the country;
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Market research Other factors affecting patterns in consumer purchasing, such as: product ‘fashion’ or trends, for example increased demand for organic foods or reduced fat foods; influence of advertising; familiarity with and loyalty to brands and products.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 The Consumer Market An example of research is the ‘Expenditure and Food Survey’ (DEFRA) which provides information on trends in food consumption. Different types of market research, such as surveys, group discussions and home product trials, provide information about what customers are buying, whether they like certain products and whether they would buy a particular product again.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 The Consumer Market Surveys – surveys are usually carried out in main shopping areas, e.g. shopping centres and high streets. The interviewer has a questionnaire. This is a set of defined questions with a set of answers from which the person being interviewed must select. This type of research provides a ‘snap-shot’ of trends or opinions. Focus groups – group discussions - a small group of consumers and a trained interviewer meet to talk about particular products of trends in food consumption. The group is made up of a mixture of consumers representative of the population. However ‘target’ groups e.g. 18 year old females or older people, are sometimes used to measure their reactions to specific products.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 The Consumer Market Home trials – consumers are given products to try at home and a follow up discussion is carried out at a later date. This method provides responses from the whole family, not just the person who does the shopping. It is possible to see whether the product meets the needs of a particular ‘target group’.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 The Consumer Market The consumer may consider factors such as: product appeal (the food and it’s packaging); value for money; health; special attributes, e.g. Kosher; advertising; portion size; convenience.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Desk research Desk research is another method of detecting trends, such as consumers’ food purchasing habits or population changes. Many organisations conduct research of this type. They publish and sell the data to anyone with an interest. This type of research is often cheaper and less hard work than other techniques such as surveys.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 Review of the learning objectives To understand the terms consumer, saturated and niche market. To identify different target groups. To appreciate the different types of market research that are available.
© Food – a fact of life 2009 For more information visit www.nutrition.org.uk www.foodafactoflife.org.uk
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