How do food companies position themselves for growth as demographic growth slows?
Tyson Foods, for example, faced this dilemma. Clearly, consumer preferences changed with a desire for prepared foods. Ultimately, Tyson knew that consumers were turning away from their traditional meat products and moving towards ready-to-eat foods. They realized they had the basic ingredients, but could they turn those raw ingredients into a successful packaged foods item?
Tyson enters the packaged food category to accommodate this market trend
Although Tyson dominated the meat processing industry, it had difficulty gaining a significant toehold in the packaged good market. Simply having the raw materials was not enough. Therefore, they needed consumer market analysis along with new product development expertise. After unsuccessfully trying to leverage in-house resources, they decided to acquire the talent and products with good market position to help them succeed in this space. One of the acquisitions, Hillshire Brands brought the names Jimmy Dean, Aidells and Ball Park. More importantly, the acquisition brought people with the “know-how”. As a result, they acquired executives who understood consumer branding, consumer trends and new product development. In addition to buying market position, the “know-how” of the talent acquired enabled Tyson to maintain and grow its position in this new category.
Most importantly, analyzing external market trends helps you understand how to position your company for future success. Consequently, these market trends may indicate that historically successful business as usual will not optimize your future results. In conclusion, here are some of the important steps that Tyson took:
- Understanding market trends.
- Assessing how to position your company to be successful, given these market trends.
- Assuring that you have the skills necessary to be successful
- If these skills are not available in-house, then you must acquire or strategically hire people to achieve your goals.
If you have questions on how your company can position itself for future success please call me: 910-763-5194 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, if you’d like to try a proven process, consider holding a one-day workshop on Simplified Strategic Planning.
Denise Harrison is a senior consultant for the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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