Meat in Honey Marketing Project

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Long Meat’s Market has a long heritage and history that can be traced back to 1927. As a part of its strategy, the company offers multiple products to meet consumer demands. Among its key strategies is maintaining a local focus. However, with increased consumer needs and expectations, an expanding beef market, and a growing competition in the industry, there is a need to develop more products if the company wants to remain profitable and competitive. This marketing project proposes a meat in honey product, specifically roasted meat that is preserved in honey. The project highlights the marketing assessment that comprises the business model of the real company, the company’s SWOT and competitive analysis, the current target segments, and current marketing strategy that is based on the marketing mix. In addition, this work offers the example of a new product development that includes production information and visual presentations, the targeting and positioning strategy, the product’s marketing mix, and samples of promotional materials. Finally, the project discusses the strategic analysis that includes SWOT improvements with the product, explains how it generates new target markets, and shows its impact on the firm’s business strategy.

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Marketing Assessment

The Business Model

Long’s Meat Market has a long history. The business began its operations in 1927 when a butchery was established by Ernest Long (Long’s Meat Market, n.d.). While Long’s business was significantly affected by the Great Depression, the butchery survived the turbulent times. Melvin, Long’s son, served in the Army Air Corp., and afterwards, he returned to the business and found two other partners to run it (Long’s Meat Market, n.d.). With time, the company moved to Long Market in the old Chase Building and established itself as a lead retailer in the area. Robert Frye worked together with Mike Wooley and aspired to take over the business, which they did together with the wife Loretta in 2016 (Long’s Meat Market, n.d.). In addition to selling meat, including meat cutters and deli, the company introduced a new model of business. Specifically, Long’s Meat Market expanded its product offering to include local vegetables and seasonal fruits that were displayed close to the meat counter (Darling, 2017). The business also offers wine tasting with cheeses and other savories. Therefore, the company has multiple product offerings. The company’s knowledgeable staff members offers professional cooling/preparation advice to customers (Darling, 2017). Finally, the company sells sandwiches (made-to-order) and Saturday barbecues.

The company works with the local community closely. For example, in summer, Long’s Meat Market offers the big smoker and beef brisket. On Wednesdays, customers can enjoy the rotisserie, cooked from farm-raised chicken (Darling, 2017). The business is a local legacy with its long history, and its model is based on business principles and consumer loyalty by ensuring quality service and the provision of quality products (Darling, 2017). The firm sales only locally-raised meat and has a divided management approach, where Robert Frye manages the meat counter while Loretta, his wife, manages the deli and the wine shop. The company’s supplier of meat is local Knee Deep Cattle Company from Eugene, OR, while lamb is supplied by Anderson Ranches of Brownsville (Darling, 2017). Finally, the butchery sells pork raised at Carlton Farms, while chicken is also locally grown. Consequently, this supply chain is an indicator of the firm’s commitment to the local community and its businesses.

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SWOT Analysis

Strengths (S). The company has several strengths. The first one is its strong financial foundation, which has been proven by the ability of the company to survive the Great Depression of the 1930s and the recent economic recession, while many other firms have had to close (Long’s Meat Market, n.d.). Further, Long’s Meat Market has existed for decades, which has allowed it to build a strong brand name for its products. Moreover, the company provides its products at affordable prices as compared to its competitors due to the purchase of sides of meat and cutting it; such a strategy reduces the costs of, for example, grass-fed beef (Darling, 2017). The company’s another strength is a wide array of products and services that include fruits, wines, cheeses, and various meat dishes for different seasons. Long’s Meat Market also encourages creativity, as evidenced by the a variety of recipes and unique products that it offers on a daily and seasonal basis (Darling, 2017). Finally, the company has build a strong customer loyalty and trust that ensures its competitiveness, including the hands-on management appraoch since the management understands consumers’ demands and directly addressess them.

Weaknesses (W). Presently, with the increased concern and focus on health and healthy diets, people shift towards healthier food options. However, Long’s Meat Market has not developed such offers to meet the changing demands of is consumers. Furthermore, the company has a single location, while many of its more established competitors open bramches globally or franchise their. Therefore, Long’s Meat Market cannot benefit from the economies of scale in operations and expand its customer base. Lastly, the company does not have any plans to expand the business or increase the number of outlets (Darling, 2017). Therefore, such a lack of an expansion strategy may lead to stagnation in the future, so those companies that expand their operations may have a greater competitive advantage.

Opportunities (O). The meat industry is versatile, which implies a multitude of recipes and methods of preparing and serving meat. Therefore, given its long history, stable finances, and huge consumer loyalty, the company has an opportunity to develop and explore more recipes to maintain its leading position on the market. Finally, Long’s Meat Market has only one branch; hence, with its delicious meals, the demand for which grows, and its promotion of innovation and creativity, the company has the opportunity to expand its customer base by franchising or opening more branches in the country.

Threats (T). The primary threat for the company are its competitors – 4-Star Meat and Bright Oak Meats. These companies rapidly expand in the area and pose a significant threat for Long’s Meat Market. Further, meat, including other meat products, is cheap and in high demand. Therefore, many new market entrants pose a significant threat for the company.

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Competitive Analysis

Long’s Meat Market competes with 4-Star Meat and Bright Oak Meats. However, all three have similar objectives and strategies as well as compete for a small market in the region. Moreover, considering the non-expansive approach of Long’s Meat Market, the other two competitors may be a significant future threat. Therefore, the company should be aware of the strategies employed by its competitors and utilize similar or counter strategies to ensure that is stays ahead of the competition. Further, despite depending on the local market, Long’s Meat Market should maintain its local advertising efforts to avoid losing its consumer base. Based on the understanding of the competitive analysis, the marketing strategy will be built to deal with the competition and provide Long’ Meat Market with a competitive edge.

Current Target Segments

The long-term success of the firm has been dependent on local connections. Therefore, for Long’s Meat Market, the primary target maket is the local commutity (Sparks, 2015). Specifically, this market includes customers who are interested in custom cuts of standard meats and poultry as well as those who demand more exotic products, for example, pheasant, guinea fowl, ostrich, and bear meat as well as frog legs (Sparks, 2015). The target market includes consumers who want to buy only local meet and those who have ethical health concerns about the meat, for example, whether it is hormone- and pecitcide-free and whether animals are raised used organic approaches (Sparks, 2015). Finally, holiday makers can find what they need in the store where the company offers special recipes and seasonal offerings.

Current Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy for Long’s Meat Market includes the provision of affordable prices for the majority of local consumers, traditional and customized product offerings, and a closer connection with its customer base. The key marketing mix includes the offering of a wide range of products at the counter or pre-ordered, including at their deli lounge (Sparks, 2015; Darling, 2017). In addition, as stated by Darling (2017), the company also sells its products at afforadable prices with Food Stamp Balance (n.d.), which shows that the company also accepts food stamps issued in Oregon. In relation to place, which is an element of the maketing mix, Long’s Meat Market is focused on the local market, with no plan for expanding. The company has no explicit promotional strategies, but it engages in local advertisements, which increases the popularity of its products and generates high demand.

New Product Development

Product Information and Visual Representation

The new product, which Long’s Meat Market plans to introduce, is canned meat in honey. This unique preservation method for roasted meat prolongs its shelf life and enhances its flavor. The rationale for using honey as a preservative is that it contains high sugar concentrations that prevent the growth of any bacteria and any spores, including microbes that promote food spoilage. Honey is among the best natural preservatives based on its antioxidant properties amd recommended as a replacement for traditional synthetic preservatives (Sharif, Mustapha, Jai, Yusof, & Zaki1, 2017). This antioxidant agent has multipe active compounds, with the flavonoids having the highest antioxidant properties (Sharif et al., 2017). Thus, the phenolic acids, quercetin, and flavanone, including vitamins, ensure these antioxidant preservative qualities. Chitosan scavenges the free radicals from the hydrogen donation/lone electrons pairs. Such compounds as the hydroxyl group (-OH) and the amino groups (-NH), which are inherent in chitosan, are vital for the antioxidant process that is necessary for food preservation (Sharif et al., 2017). Therefore, these properties of honey make it a better preservative for meat as compared to synthetic preservatives.

Figure 1 below is a sketch of the can that will contain the new product. Considering the target consumer for the product, as discussed further, meat in honey will be packed in a standard meat packaging can, which can be discarded after use, and simply labelled ‘meat’. The can will be grey in color, and it will have Long’s Meat Market logo on bottom of the can and that of the US army on its top.

Targeting and Positioning Strategy

Product development and establishment requires an appropriate market targeting strategy that includes the stages of segmentation, targeting, and positioning on the market. Thus, segmentation refers to separating the large market space into smaller units that can be easily covered by the company. This stage involves identifying, comprehending, and developing new products for each segment of the market to guarantee that these products meet consumer expectations. The company segments its market based on such elements as geography, price, and basic health concerns. With the new product, Long’s Meat Market expands its target market to include a larger array of consumers. The longer shelf life of the product and its nutritional value make it ideal for the military, the navy, and the United Nations Food Program (UNFP), including the populations that require food with long shelf life. These are, for example, campers, travelers, and those who go for scientific expeditions. Further, families that cannot afford roasted meat or those who desire the flavored version of such meat can enjoy the new offering by Long’s Meat Market. Therefore, meat in honey will increase the company’s presence on the market since this new unique product has no competition so far. Lastly, positioning is the selection of one or several focus areas to ensure success, and as a strategy, it is aimed at the establishment of means for the effective competition on the market. The strategy is based on the SWOT analysis, the demand requirements, and existing competition. Therefore, the firm will offer meat in honey as a positioning strategy to reach a wider range of consumers, which would translate into higher profits.

Marketing Mix for the Product

The meat industry has experienced turbulent times, but it has survived. Further, the shift towards healthy meals with low calories affects the industry. Long’s Meat Market is popular in the area so its long history and heritage have helped it win consumer trust and build brand loyalty. The marketing mix will involve the 4Ps method, or the focus on Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. The company will introduce the product to increase its portfolio of offerings that will be available in the standard canned form. Since the company will increase its target consumer base, the place element will be attained through the establishment of an elaborate channel of distribution to help the product reach its final consumer. In regards to price, different prices will be set for different target markets to ensure that all customers can afford the new product. Finally, promotion will involve developing promotional materials and free samples to be offered to target consumers for testing, tasting, and approval. Finally, pictures of the meat prepared at the butchery will be taken and posted on social media as this product will also be available for those who want to eat at the deli or at home.

Promotional Material for the Product

A part of the 4Ps is the element of promotion; hence, Long’s Meat Market will use several strategies to promote its products. The company will develop promotional materials that will be distributed to its customers at the butchery. Various T-shirts will be available for the military as well as the civilian population of both genders and all ages. Other promotional materials will include caps, key holders, and stickers that will advertise the new product. Social media will be a central area for marketing, while pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will include posted photos and messages. Print media as well as radio will also be used as a marketing channel to promote the product. Some of these materials are shown below.

Strategic Analysis

SWOT Improvement

The company’s success on the market is attributed to its long history and heritage in Oregon due to the multiple high quality and affordable products that it offers to its customers. Therefore, the introduction of such a quality product as meat in honey will only further cement Long’s Meat Market’s brand name and promote greater consumer trust and loyalty. Furthermore, the company is financially stable, and by introducing the new product, the company will make greater sales, which will further strengthen its finances. Meat in honey will only add to the already existing portfolio of offerings, which means that the firm will be able to expand its customer base by attracting new customers and offering products at reduced costs. With the shift in demand towards healthy food, the new product will be a proper alternative to conventional products that Long’s Meat Market sells. Consequently, the company will be able to meet the demands of the health-conscious category of consumers and compete effectively on the market. Further, since other companies offer a wide array of products that compete with the current offers pf Long’s Meat Market, the introduction of meat in honey will provide a competitive advantage. Competitors simply do not offer anything similar; hence, they will not be able to compete with the company in this aspect.

Creation of New Targets

There has been an increased consumption of meat and meat products in the USA, which has led to a high demand for these products. The report by the Department of Agriculture indicates that Americans will consume a record amount of beef and other beef products this year (Waite, 2018). Thus, the per capita consumption of beef is significantly higher as compared to the previous years (Waite, 2018). Therefore, the new product will attract the increasing numbers of meat consumers. In addition, according to the United Nations, approximately 821 million people (one person in every nine people) were undernourished in 2017 (Mundasad, 2018). Further, approximately 150 million people aged below five years, or 22% of the global population, have stunted growth as a result of poor nutrition (Mundasad, 2018). Therefore, the new product will serve as a viable alternative to canned food that can be used to feed the hungry populations due to its long shelf life; therefore, these populations will act as new target customers. Lastly, the product is healthier as compared to freshly prepared roasted meat due to its high fat content, which will also contribute to satisfying the needs of customers.

Since the inauguration of current president, the number of American troops in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan has increased as the USA becomes deeply involved in the conflicts in these countries. For example, according to the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), only at the beginning of 2017, a total of 18,000 American troops were stationed in the three countries, and by September 2017, this number had reached 26,000 (Myre, 2017). Most of these American troops do not consume local food, which means they import food from the USA. Due to the nature of their service, they need nutritious and long-lasting food that can also be cost-saving for the government. Therefore, the introduction of the new product by Long’s Meat Market will provide a vital alternative for the US Army due to its long shelf life, which is quite convinient for troops deployed overseas. In other words, the US Army can be a new customer for the company.

Impact on the Overall Company Strategy

The strategy of Long’s Meat Market is to maintain the local heritage and meet the demands of local consumers by supplying a wide range of products at the counter. In this regard, the company has developed multiple combinations of recipes to meet the needs of its customers (Long’s Meat Market, n.d.). This business strategy has allowed the firm to be profitable over the years and survive even the most turbulent economic times. Further, the strategy has enabled Long’s Meat Market to build a strong brand image and develop brand loyalty among its consumers, which it enjoys to date (Darling, 2017). The introduction of meat in honey will be a transformative undertaking for the company and a shift from its traditional form of thinking. For example, while the owners did not intend to expand outside Oregon, the new product and the expanded customer base will definitely prompt the company to expand outside the area to meet the growing demands of consumers. Moreover, meat in honey will allow Long’s Meat Market to attract customers internationally, which implies that it has to adjust its daily operations to cover the wide geographical scope of its operations. Finally, the company’s business strategy will shift to employ expanded marketing and promotion to reach a wide a range of consumers, which will signify moving away from the minimal promotional approach that the company currently uses. In other words, the company will have to expand it overall business strategies.

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