Consumers’ focus on health and wellness has been challenging traditional food companies to enter new areas of the market. While many food industry segments have been struggling to hold steady, one area of growth appears to be in the “alternative foods” markets – namely organic, vegetarian, and vegan foods and meals. According to Lux Research, the alternative foods segment could grow to $108 billion by 2050.
Traditional meat companies are taking note of the changing food trends and are reacting through investments in new products and acquisitions. It’s not only the changing taste buds of consumers impacting food companies. There are also concerns about draining of natural resources in water and land that are a result of raising animals solely for meat consumption. Some large food companies are also examining using alternative proteins in their existing products.
As an example, consumer food giant General Mills bought Annie’s Organics a year ago to appeal to a new market segment. And recently this year, Tyson Foods invested in a five percent stake in Beyond Meats, a company that sells plant-based protein food that “…looks, feels, tastes, and acts like chicken…”Beyond Meats is currently sold in more than 7,500 stores in the U.S.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
- Show Web sites and discuss the companies’ products and markets:
Beyond Meat: http://beyondmeat.com/
- Which strategy is Tyson using for acquiring Beyond Meats? Why?
- Which strategy did General Mills used when acquiring Annie’s Organics? Why?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market a product of their choice. (Ex: Sports drinks, soft drinks, music, etc.)
- Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
- Debrief the exercise.
Source: Los Angeles Times