The food and drink industry in the UK is one of the most competitive sectors in retail. This is why market research is essential to remain competitive in this ever-changing landscape because without it, do you really know your consumers, customers or competitors?
Before you take the plunge
Perhaps one of the most important reasons for market research is to scope out a venture before taking the plunge. Is there a demand for your product and is the customer base big enough to make your business profitable and sustainable? Too many people start small businesses with a great idea that falls within an already saturated market and soon find themselves struggling to keep afloat. At this stage, engaging with people in industry is invaluable as they will always have key insights that you will not find in a datasheet of figures. This is not to say that figures and statistics should be ignored. Data forms the backbone of strategic decision making.
Trends drive NPD
The food industry is extremely dynamic, being shaped by trends in the economy, the consumer and the competitive environment. If you are not in the loop, you will not remain current and will be left behind. Understanding consumer behaviour is one of the most important factors to consider when carrying out NPD - you need to know your product will be accepted. A good example of this would be the free-from trend which has seen phenomenal growth over the past 5 years, driven primarily by the health trend and social media. Introducing new products to the market can be risky but if you do the research, you’ll at least have some assurance that there is demand for your product. Go in blind and you could face the consequences.
At ZERO2FIVE we have access to Kantar Worldpanel data, for both Wales and the UK, across multiple food and drink categories.
Identifying new markets
Those looking to grow their business can use market research to identify new opportunities, from NPD through to export. The research could highlight a new location to sell your product where little or no competition exists or identify a different supply channel that is performing better. On the contrary, research can lower business risk by stopping you entering that market you thought was promising or identifying threats on the horizon.
Who is doing what?
Knowing what your competitors are doing is a must. After all, any new customers they gain is reducing your market share. Whilst some research providers will give you a competitive landscape review, your best bet is to monitor your competitor activity yourself by keep up to date with their websites, industry news and visiting retailers to assess new product launches, price changes and promotional activity. Visiting retailers will enable you to audit and map your competitors to establish where to position your product.
It doesn't have to be expensive
Here at ZERO2FIVE, we have access to data from leading providers such as Kantar, with data specifically on the Welsh market. Companies in Wales can access some of the data through our partnership programme.
Jamie Old, Marketing Executive
For more information
Telephone: 02920 41 6306