Tag Archives: market research

Baby Food Innovation

“Baby food.” Even the phrase itself brings to mind mushy, tasteless, pureed, prepared food. While that may have been true of the old-fashioned prepared baby foods, it certainly doesn’t apply to today’s offerings of fresh, organic, foods for babies. Today, new parents are turning to delivery-based meal services to help them save time on meal preparation, but still provide healthy, nutritious, and delicious foods for their families.

Meal preparation is a topic for all stages of family life. According to Pew Research, both parents work in nearly two-thirds of all U.S. households. And, with so much time spent at work, time in the kitchen is at a premium. This has given rise to a number of meal delivery services such as Home Chef, Blue Apron, Plated, and more. But all of these are focused on adults. What about meals for the babies? Meals for babies present a somewhat unique problem– babies can eat only a small amount at a time, meaning that the potential waste of food is quite high.

A number of start-up companies have entered the baby food arena. These companies offer a variety of prepared products including flash-frozen food pouches which contain portioned, chopped, ingredients to meet a baby’s nutritional needs. Other companies deliver cold-pressed fruit and vegetable food pouches in temperature-controlled packaging. And yet another provides tubs of cold-pressed baby purees, including a spoon and packaged in a reseal-able container.

Food matters.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use prepared, delivered meals. Have students had an experience with these?
  2. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team review a baby food product company with respect to product, price, place, and promotion.
  4. Examples include:
    1. Raised Real: https://www.raisedreal.com/
    2. Once Upon a Farm: https://onceuponafarmorganics.com/
    3. Little Spoon: https://www.littlespoon.com/
    4. Gerber: https://www.gerber.com/products/baby-food
  5. Have each team develop a positioning map.
  6. Have each team draw their map on the board.
  7. Debrief exercise.

Source:  Painter, K. (29 September, 2018). When the jar isn’t enough: Baby food innovators are on a roll these days. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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Amazon Expands in India Using Hindi Language

Amazon recently hit the one trillion dollar mark in valuation – quite an accomplishment and it puts the company in rarified air. The path to the valuation has not been easy, or fast. Expansion into different services and countries were essential.

Amazon now operates in more than a dozen different countries, including India. India presents a very specific challenge to all of the companies that are operating within its borders; roughly only 10 percent of the country’s 1.3 billion citizens understand English. In effect, this limits the access to online shopping to a majority of the Indian people.

Amazon aims to fix this situation in India. It recently stated that it will make mobile websites and apps available in Hindi – India’s most popular language. Similar to how U.S. citizens can select Spanish as their language of choice, users of the India app will be able to choose Hindi as their preferred language. Although Amazon is the second largest player in India’s multi-billion dollar e-commerce market, the English language is not sufficient to reach the country’s customers.

The task is a difficult one. Using a translation algorithm was insufficient and a far cry from the language and cultural translations that are needed to gain customers’ trust. Only 40% of Indian customers use ecommerce, and of those, roughly one-third only make a single purchase. Amazon also has 14,000 retail locations across India as part of its Amazon Easy program; this allows a local shopkeeper to help customers place orders, receive packages, and deliver them.

The push to Indian languages will be key to gaining new Internet users over the next few years. Research studies forecast that by 2021, 536 million Indians will use their native languages to access the Internet.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students about their experiences at Amazon. What works, doesn’t work?
  2. Poll students: What are some of the challenges and barriers Amazon faces as it expands into India?
  3. View Amazon’s India site: https://www.amazon.in
  4. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a SWOT for Amazon in India.
  6. What are the issues and risks?

Source:  New York Times, CNN, other news sources

 

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IKEA Opens its First Store in India

IKEA has opened its first store in India. The store, located in Hyderabad, cost roughly $100 million to build and is an estimated 400,000 square feet. The company plans to have up to 25 stores in India by 2025.

India has a large and complex retail base. The country’s 1.3 billion people account for about $30 billion per year for furniture and household items. However, unlike the U.S., 95% of the goods are sold through small shops that offer specialty products or single-category stores. IKEA’s broad product mix and store operations had to be significantly revised for India. While the store layout is similar to other IKEAs, the displays are different, featuring hundreds of products priced at 100 rupees or less ($1.45 U.S.).

To research how India’s people live and shop, employees visited about 1,000 homes in different areas of India to understand consumers’ needs. Some differences: most Indians do not use knives to eat, women are shorter than Europeans, and children often sleep in the same room as their parents until they are school-age. In addition, India’s government requires foreign-owned, single-brand retailers to use local suppliers for 30% of the value of the goods sold in India.

IKEA, the Sweden-based multinational, now owns and operates 415 stores in 49 countries around the globe. With revenue in excess of $42 billion (U.S.), and an estimated 12,000 products, the company uses more than 1% of the world’s commercial-product wood.

It’s not always easy to change, but entering a new market requires research and revision.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students about their experiences at IKEA. What works, doesn’t work?
  2. View the IKEA India website: https://www.ikea.com/in/en/
  3. A video of IKEA India store is available at: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/ikea-says-namaste-to-indian-customers-as-it-throws-open-its-first-store-in-hyderabad/videoshow/65340339.cms
  4. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a SWOT for IKEA in India.
  6. What are the issues and risks?

Source:  Goel, V. (7 August 2018). Ikea opens first India store, tweaking products but not the vibe. New York Times.

 

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