In the United States, presently, providers of foodstuff such as pizzas, canned fruits, cereals among others occupy the entire market. Most of the citizens rely on these foods because they are easy to prepare and can stay for a long period. Pizzas have become a major source of food among young people who do not have time for food preparation or have no access to other types of food. This makes it difficult to launch the African traditional food especially during this era when technology has advanced and Americans are relying on the already processed food available in the supermarkets and major stores.
The pizza company is one of the major competitors of the African vegetables in the US market. This company has been in existence for quite a long time and has won people’s trust and confidence. It is well established with a very strong financial base. Pizza Company can process its products in large quantities enjoying economies of scale. Most of its customers make orders prior to the day of purchase because at some time demand exceeds supply. However, pizza products have not been able to convince their customers of the nutritious values in its products. Health-related illnesses have been on the increase but the product has not been able to solve the product.
The other competitor that the African vegetable company is likely to face is the manufacturer of canned food such as fruits, meat, and cereals (such as beans, peas, black peas etc). Technology has made it possible to preserve food for a long time. This food is usually prepared and packed under preservatives so that the consumer will not have to waste a lot of time preparing them. Almost all American women (both single and married) are opting for this kind of food because it is easy to prepare and is available in almost all stalls without having to go to the market to get the fresh ones. One of the company’s strengths is that it has occupied a large portion of the US market and is still doing research for development opportunities and on ways of improving the product to fetch a bigger market. Just like pizzas, canned food cannot help in solving the health problem that has become a nightmare among the old people. In fact, they facilitate the problem instead of preventing it. This is because most of the food has chemicals that are detrimental to the health of human beings.
To help the African vegetable company fight competition in the US market, the products should be packaged in such a way that their nutritious value is well-spoken. Proper branding should be used as a marketing strategy and extensive campaigns embarked on to educate customers on the benefit of the products. The products should minimize the use of chemicals to preserve their nutritious value. Since the company is young and likely to occupy a very small market share in the US, it should franchise with one of the existing companies which specialize in almost similar products. This will not only increase its chances of expansion but also earn customers’ confidence and trust (Hoy & Stanworth, 2003).
The African vegetable company intends to be the leading company in the US food industry. This may sound absurd but with the advantages associated with its products, it is possible. To achieve this vision, the company is planning to employ direct sales representative who will be responsible for the door-to-door marketing of the products. They will be provided with intensive training on the benefits of the products, their nutritious value, how they are prepared and how to effectively win the customer. This will commence after the products have been launched in the market (Coe & Coe, 2003). The marketing department has been requested to prepare a launching plan which will be used to launch the products in the market. Since the company will be franchised to one of the big companies in the market, launching will be easy and the product will be launched as new brands of the existing companies. The launch plan will include estimated expenses for the process, free samples, and training among others. After launching the products, the company will embark on extensive marketing strategies such as the use of promotions and direct sales to market its product (Sutherland & Sylvester, 2009).
To operate in the US market, a company has to seek authorization from the appropriate authorities. However, the African vegetable company will venture into the market as a branch of an already existing company and will not seek authorization. But since the company intends to operate independently in the future, then it will have to fulfill the legal requirements. It has to meet the legal standards set by the government regarding health and quality of the product. The company will also have to contend with the taxation rates in the country, exchange rates, inflation rates to name but a few. These factors are not static and change as the country’s economic performance changes thus the company should be prepared to deal with such environmental factors. Changes in social trends can affect the demand for the company’s products and the availability of the workforce. Social trends are caused by aging population, changes in tastes and preferences, attitudes to work or the income distribution. The company should be prepared to deal with trends if they do occur. Changes in technology come with new products and processes of productions. For a company to cope up with such changes it should always be alert to new technologies and products should be modified to fit the current demand (Drummond Ensor & Ashford, 2007).
The most significant trend that is likely to affect the business is the social trend and technology. As discussed earlier, the African vegetable products are aimed at the aging population and the sick. With the increase in technology and the improvement in the standards of living, life expectancy has improved and people can live or are expected to live longer. This implies that, demand for the African products will increase with time as the old get used to it. However, the same technology has come up with better methods of treatment other than the use of “natural food” and the sick will not be demanding the African food.
Being a new product in the market, the business may face lack of qualified personnel (or personnel that has a negative attitude towards the business). This may become worse if the company pays fewer wages than those in well-established companies. To deal with the problem of social trends and technology, the business intends to involve itself in research and development programs to realize the market needs and consumers’ wants. It will also help in monitoring the progress of the products in the market.
- Coe, J. & Coe, J. M. (2003). The fundamentals of business to business sales and marketing. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.
- Drummond, G, Ensor, J. & Ashford, R. (2007). Strategic Marketing: Planning and Control Butterworth Heinemann. New York: Butterworth-Heinemann.
- Hoy, F. & Stanworth, J. (2003). Franchising: an international perspective. New York: Routledge.
- Sutherland, M. & Sylvester, A. K. (2009). Advertising and the Mind of the Consumer: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why. New York: Allen & Unwin.