Kudler Fine Foods Company’s Marketing Research

Introduction

Kudler Fine Foods was founded in 1998 by Kathy Kudler as an upmarket specialty gourmet store to provide a wide variety of fresh whole foods.

Kathy’s vision was to “create one store that would stock a wide selection of the freshest ingredients as well as all of the tools a gourmet cook could ever want.” Kathy was certain that combining the convenience of one-stop shopping with reasonable prices would be a recipe for success. (Kudler Fine Foods Web para. 1)

The first Kudler Fine Foods store, which was located in La Jolla, grew rapidly, and Kathy saw an opportunity to expand it further to other locations in Del Mar and Encinitas. The firm stocks a wide collection of locally manufactured as well as imported goods, which include bakery and pastries, meat and meat products, seafood, cheese, and milk specialty products, fresh agricultural produce, condiments, and spices, a wide collection of high-quality wines and other packaged foodstuffs. (Kudler Fine Foods Web Para. 1)

The firm has employed various sales and marketing strategies that have exponentially increased the business revenue, raised its return on investment, and created value for the organization while enhancing customer loyalty through meeting their expectations. Some of the strategies used include customer-oriented plans, repeated shopping programs, express mail programs, cost reduction strategies, and creating memorable brand associations aimed at creating value for the business. This has been enhanced by several market analysis surveys conducted by the firm in 2006 and 2007 through which the firm acquired valuable in-depth customer feedback and market insights as well as competitive intelligence. The analyzed data from market research is vital as it tries to significantly mitigate possible threats and uncertainties, thus informing the decision-making process by the firms’ marketing team leaders. (Kerin et al., Chapter 8, p. 4)

Market Research

Market research helps an organization in collecting data about products’ market, market needs, competition, and target customers’ perception as well as their demographics such as income level, age, education level, gender, and location. For this reason, “understanding a market research plan is essential to Kudler Fine Foods in order to promote any types of special promotions they may want to run, and also to reach out to their public the authenticity and quality value of their merchandise and produce.” (Kudler Fine Foods and Market Research, n.d. Para. 2)

The firm has embarked on conducting market research to assess the viability of its investment decisions. It carried out a survey in 2006 to interrogate the environment, the employee, the effect of the product price, customers’ brand experience, and the product market. The majority of the respondents to the Kudler Foods Survey indicated that Kudler Fine Foods merchandise presents value for the money spent, while 38% of interviewed people opposed this statement. As a result of this survey, suitable areas of improvement were identified, and strategies for 2007 established to help managers prioritize and optimally utilize the resources to meet the corporate objectives. (University of Phoenix 2008).The sales and marketing strategy for 2007 entailed exciting novel ideas to communicate to the public what Kudler Fine Foods offers in a bid to drive mass product consumption and the comprehensive assessment of the impact of various marketing programs and promotions. (Kudler Fine Foods Marketing, n.d para. 2)

Kudler Fine Foods will need to conduct additional research to maintain its market position and to be able to meet future challenges. To continue meeting the needs of the value-oriented customers, the organization should carry out additional market research on the best pricing strategies to satisfy over one-third of customers who are of the opinion that Kudler Fine Foods are expensive and that the products do not give value for money. It will be paramount to conduct a market analysis that “would gather information, determine promotions, determine how to contact the customer fit or match the service to the right customer, determine price and terms, physical distribution methods, budget, and determine the risk.” (Kudler Fine Foods and Market Research, n.d. Para. 9) This will provide the blueprint for organizational growth and development. The organization will also be required to gather competitive intelligence and do a competitor analysis to understand the competition and its activities.

Competitive intelligence and analysis

Competitive intelligence is the identification of opportunities and threats in the market at an early stage before they become public domain (University of Phoenix, Kudler fine foods virtual organization, para. 2) whereas the competitive or competitors analysis entails in-depth evaluation of the existing and potential competitors in terms of their products portfolio, competitive advantage, market and value share, marketing strategy and tactics while assessing their weak points. For Kudler Fine Foods to remain afloat of the competition, it has to be aggressive in gathering the competitive intelligence to shun surprises from competitors’ activities and changes in the business environment due to technological advancements, political influences, economic and fiscal stability among others. The Kudler Fine Foods plans to launch/re-launch products and to expand to other locations hence the essence of understanding its market position in relation to the competition and the unmet customer needs.

Competitive intelligence and analysis will assist Kudler Fine Foods in understanding the emerging market trends and the changes in the customer. This information will be essential when developing the marketing plans, positioning and differentiating products, launching products, and market targeting. Marketing strategies based on competitive intelligence are more proactive than reactive hence great impact results. The firm will be well prepared to harness market opportunities that come before the competitors seize them, and will also be better prepared to mitigate possible risks within a very short response time.

The organization’s competitive advantage has been its high quality and a wide selection of fine food products while providing a single stop shop for fresh whole foods, which is very convenient for customers. The products have a relatively strong position in the local market and command a significant market share in San Diego. The competitors are quite active and are fighting for their share of the market. Thus, Kudler Fine Foods has to be updated on the competition response to various marketing activities.

Conclusion

As consumers awaken to multiple choices and become more value-oriented, Kudler Fine Foods will have to be more aggressive in meeting customer needs and innovation of products to meet the rise in product demand while creating value. The organization will have to embark on extensive market research, customer feedback, and competitive intelligence and analysis to cushion itself from internal and external business threats while maintaining its strong position in the market. The market insights will be instrumental in the development and execution of corporate strategy to meet the overall organizational objectives.

References

Kerin, Roger A. Hartley, Steven W. Berkowitz, Eric N. Rudelius, William (2006) Marketing, 8e. New York. The McGraw-Hill companies.

Kudler fine foods and market research (n.d.). Web.

Kudler Fine Foods website (n.d.). Web.

Kudler Fine Foods website (n.d.). Web.

Marketing – Kudler Fine Foods (n.d.). Web.

University of Phoenix (2008). Kudler fine foods virtual organization. Retrieved on April 17, 2012 resource, MBA-502 course material.

University of Phoenix (2008). Kudler fine foods website. Web.