Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Yogurt, yogurt everywhere

Walk into any supermarket or health-foods store today, and you'll see a vast array of yogurts in the dairy case. Flash back just 11 years, and the yogurt offerings were meager, to say the least. Dannon was marketing yogurt in US stores, but the food category was miniscule and anything but mainstream.

The incredible growth of yogurt during the 21st century is due, in large part, to the entrance of one brand--Chobani, which launched its Greek yogurt in 2007.

Today, Chobani is competing with brands that didn't exist in 2007, as well as brand and product extensions of companies that were part of the yogurt market in the 20th century. Consumers have responded to the new wave of yogurts by trying new products and, in some cases, becoming loyal yogurt lovers.

No wonder Chobani has been redesigning its products and packaging to stand out in this increasingly crowded environment. The company is also reformulating yogurts with lower sugar and more flavor pop. And it's "stretching" the branded yogurt concept into drinkable products, among other innovations.

Yogurt is everywhere. How will Chobani, Dannon, and other brands maintain the interest and loyalty of consumers in such a competitive marketplace?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Sneakerization of the Non-Dairy Milk Market

Does the "dairy case" in your local supermarket include rows of shelves with alternatives like soy milk and almond milk?

The increase in number and variety of non-dairy milk products illustrates the "sneakerization" of this market--meaning the proliferation of multiple products for microtargeting niche or microniche consumer segments. Ever-finer market segmentation for targeting small niches interested in specific types of products/benefits, in other words.

Even calling these products "___milk" can be controversial. But despite industry efforts like the long-running "Got Milk?" campaign (which morphed into "Milk Life"), consumption of traditional dairy milk is not going up.

In fact, many consumers are seeking out milk alternatives for health, nutrition, and lifestyle reasons.

Consumers are paying attention to these non-dairy milks and seeking out new choices, boosting demand for what was once a tiny niche. This is changing the makeup of the industry. For instance, adapting to this trend toward proliferation of non-milk products, one former dairy producer now makes peanut milk.

Sneakerization of this market means more competition among non-dairy milk products AND milk products, all seeking to improve market share, sales, and profitability.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Upcoming 12th Blogiversary


June will mark the 12th anniversary of this blog! My very first post was about the way Boeing views the future (for strategy reasons) vs. the way competitor Airbus views the future.

At the time, I indicated a preference for Boeing's view, because it envisioned a point-to-point future for passenger flights, whereas Airbus's vision was for giant jets flying passengers from one airport hub to another.

The difference matters, because these visions of the future guide companies in planning for new products and supply-chain priorities. In turn, suppliers and buyers both consider what Boeing and Airbus think about the future of air travel and the airline industry. They factor these and other projections into their planning for marketing strategy.

In general, what Boeing envisioned in 2006 has come to pass now. As a result, there is higher demand for lighter, fuel-efficient jets than for heavy, gigantic jets like the Airbus 380.

Boeing at this moment sees air travel demand increasing from 2017-2036, according to its Current Market Outlook. In fact, it believes this will mean airlines will need to have twice as many passenger jets in service by 2036, compared with fleet sizes today.

Today, Airbus also believes that demand for air travel and air cargo will increase year after year after year, and by 2036, the company projects a need for 35,000 additional aircraft.

The competition between these rivals continues as the market expands and airlines line up new aircraft. In 2017, Airbus sold more aircraft than Boeing. However, Boeing was the leader in aircraft delivered.

Notice that the focus is on Airbus AND Boeing, because these two manufacturers are the two largest in the world.

How will their competition affect the overall market, including smaller manufacturers?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

New Food Products Tap into Consumer Behavior Trends

Kraft Heinz's logo on Twitter
Kraft Heinz makes some of the world's most recognized brands--Heinz ketchup, Oscar Meyer hot dogs, Kraft cheese, and Ore-Ida frozen potatoes are just four examples.

But it's also facing ongoing changes in consumer behavior (culture by culture, not just internationally), which means it must adapt its products and its marketing to be competitive and successful in the changing marketplace.

"I think the most important thing we can do is provide options, so consumers can make their choice," says the company's CEO, Bernardo Hees. In other words, innovate new products that meet the needs of customers in specific markets, pointing up benefits and features for those segments.

One product Kraft Heinz recently introduced to the U.S. market is Just Crack an Egg, which combines a couple of consumer-behavior trends: interest in different/novel breakfast formats, desire for faster yet healthy meals, need for simplicity in preparation, and affordability.

What makes Just Crack an Egg unusual from a marketing perspective? The combination of multiple brands that make up the product. Its ingredient brands include Ore-Idea potatoes, Oscar Meyer meat, and Kraft cheese. Also, this product is not in the packaged-goods aisles but in the refrigerated foods aisle, which gives Kraft Heinz a new place to grab attention of the target market.

Will the combination of these famous brands and the novelty of preparation and distribution attract customers who will not just try once but become repeat purchasers over time?