Answer the following questions from the information below
a. What are the organization's marketing goals?
b. What are the symptoms of the problem? In other words, which of the organization's marketing goals mentioned in section a., above are not being met?
c. What is the organization's problem? Look at the symptoms and make a judgement about what their cause may be. Do not confuse symptoms with problems. Problems cause symptoms.
d. Perform a SW/OT analysis:
-What are the organization's internal strengths? Create as comprehensive list as possible. These are factors internal to the
company that it can rely on when implementing a recommendation.
-What are the organization's internal weaknesses? Again, create as comprehensive a list as possible. These are factors internal
to the company that it cannot rely on when implementing a recommendation.
-What opportunities exist in the company's external environment? These are things that the company might exploit in order to
implement a successful marketing strategy. They. may include a new target market, product marketing void, changes in the
general economy, shifts in consumer preference, etc.
-What threats exist in the company's external environment? Competition, negative economic factors, consumer declines in
e. What specific changes to the company's marketing mix would you make that would result in the organization achieving the goals mentioned above--this includes the reduction of those factors mentioned as symptoms (above).
It is 2015, and Neal Middleton, newly elected president of Nature’s Way Foods, Inc., faces a severe decline in profits. Nature’s Way Foods, Inc., is a 127-year-old California-based food processor. Its multiproduct lines are widely accepted under the Nature’s Way Foods brand. The company and its subsidiaries prepare, package, and sell canned and frozen foods, including fruits, vegetables, pickles, and condiments. Nature’s Way Foods, which operates more than 30 processing plants in the United States, is one of the larger U.S. food processors—with annual sales of about $650 million.
Until 2015, Nature’s Way Foods was a subsidiary of a major Midwestern food processor, and many of the present managers came from the parent company. Nature’s Way Foods’ last president recently said:
The influence of our old parent company is still with us. As long as new products look like they will increase the company’s sales volume, they are introduced. Traditionally, there has been little, if any, attention paid to margins. We are well aware that profits will come through good products produced in large volume.
Alex May, a 25-year employee and now production manager, agrees with the multiproduct-line policy. As he puts it, “Volume comes from satisfying needs. We will can or freeze any vegetable or fruit we think consumers might want.” May also admits that much of the expansion in product lines was encouraged by economics. The typical plants in the industry are not fully used. By adding new products to use this excess capacity, costs are spread over greater volume. So the production department is always looking for new ways to make more effective use of its present facilities.
Nature’s Way Foods has a line-forcing policy, requiring any store that wants to carry its brand name to carry most of the 65 items in the Nature’s Way Foods line. This policy, coupled with its wide expansion of product lines, has resulted in 88 percent of the firm’s sales coming from major supermarket chain stores, such as Safeway, Kroger, and Winn Dixie.Page 624
Smaller stores are generally not willing to accept the Nature’s Way Foods policy. May explains, “We know that only large stores can afford to stock all our products. But the large stores are the volume! We give consumers the choice of any Nature’s Way Foods product they want, and the result is maximum sales.” Many small retailers have complained about Nature’s Way Foods’ policy, but they have been ignored because they are considered too small in potential sales volume per store to be of any significance.
In late 2015, a stockholders’ revolt over low profits (in 2015, profits were only $500,000) resulted in Nature’s Way Foods’ president and two of its five directors being removed. Neal Middleton (introduced earlier), an accountant from the company’s outside auditing firm, was brought in as president. One of the first things he focused on was the variable and low levels of profits in the past several years. A comparison of Nature’s Way Foods’ results with similar operations of some large competitors supported his concern. In the past 13 years, Nature’s Way Foods’ closest competitors had an average profit return on shareholders’ investment of 5 to 9 percent, whereas Nature’s Way Foods averaged only 1.5 percent. Further, Nature’s Way Foods’ sales volume has not increased much from the 2001 level (after adjusting for inflation)—while operating costs have soared upward. Profits for the firm were about $8 million in 2001. The closest Nature’s Way Foods has come since then is about $6 million—in 2004. The outgoing president blamed his failure on an inefficient sales department. He said, “Our sales department has deteriorated. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but the overall quality of salespeople has dropped, and morale is bad. The team just didn’t perform.” When Middleton e-mailed Shelley Walton, the vice president of sales, with this charge, her reply was:
It’s not our fault. I think the company made a key mistake in the late ’80s. It expanded horizontally—by increasing its number of product offerings—while major competitors were expanding vertically, growing their own raw materials and making all of their packing materials. They can control quality and make profits in manufacturing that can be used in promotion. I lost some of my best people from frustration. We just aren’t competitive enough to reach the market the way we should with a comparable product and price.
In a lengthy e-mail from Shelley Walton, Middleton learned more about the characteristics of Nature’s Way Foods’ market. Although all the firms in the food-processing industry advertise heavily, the size of the market for most processed foods hasn’t grown much for many years. Further, most consumers are pressed for time and aren’t very selective. If they can’t find the brand of food they are looking for, they’ll pick up another brand rather than go to some other store. No company in the industry has much effect on the price at which its products are sold. Chain store buyers are very knowledgeable about prices and special promotions available from all the competing suppliers, and they are quick to play one supplier against another to keep the price low. Basically, they have a price they are willing to pay—and they won’t exceed it. Then the chains will charge any price they wish on a given brand sold at retail. That is, a 48-can case of beans might be purchased from any supplier for $23.10, no matter whose product it is. Generally, the shelf price for each is no more than a few pennies different, but chain stores occasionally attract customers by placing a well-known brand on sale.
Besides insisting that processors meet price points, like for the canned beans, some chains require price allowances if special locations or displays are desired. They also carry non-advertised brands and/or their own brands at a lower price—to offer better value to their customers. And most willingly accept producers’ cents-off coupons, which are offered by Nature’s Way Foods as well as most of the other major producers of full lines.
At this point, Neal Middleton is trying to decide why Nature’s Way Foods, Inc., isn’t as profitable as it once was. And he is puzzled about why some competitors are putting products on the market with low potential sales volume. (For example, one major competitor recently introduced a line of exotic foreign vegetables with gourmet sauces.) And others have been offering frozen dinners or entrees with vegetables for several years. Apparently, Nature’s Way Foods’ managers considered trying such products several years ago but decided against it because of the small potential sales volumes and the likely high costs of new-product development and promotion.
1.Organisations marketing goals are
To increase sales volume
To spread Awareness of the different product line of the nature's way food
Achieve higher rate of inflation adjusted profits
Increase average profit return on shareholders investment.
2. Symptoms of the problem
Lower profit than its competitors
Dissatisfaction of small retailers
Lower revenue and sales
3. Cause associated with each symptoms
Uncoordinated sales team
Company policies that are not compatible with the small retailers
Horizontal product line.
Customers are able to switch brand easily when it comes to process food. Because of various brands selling the similar product at more competitive prices
127 year old company
30 processing plants in United States
One of the larger us food producers
Diverse and multi product line
Uncoordinated sales team
Company policies that are not compatible with the small retailers.
Weak marketing strategies
Higher demand of processed foods in future
Consumer preferring more instant food due to lack of time and busy lifestyle
The target consumer being the millennials and it's huge number of population
Rising number of competitors.
Shift in consumer preferences towards healthy food and avoiding processed food.
Excessesive dependence on farmer and agricultural produce which is dependent on climatic conditions
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