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Kudler Fine Foods, owned by Kathy Kudler, is a gourmet grocery center with three locations. The stores are designed for the consumer that likes to cook gourmet meals without shopping all over town. The company sells a selection of fine foods, wines and the culinary tools necessary to prepare the finest meal. Recently the company began contracting with local growers to provide locally grown organic produce and is now making plans to expand into the catering business. There are many areas to be considered before taking on this next venture in the company’s future.
Market research is one of the first items necessary to expand at Kudler Fine Foods. This is a tool that all businesses should use to establish the viability of business decisions. The sales plan for 2007 includes interesting new ideas to help promote awareness of the type of food Kudler offers and a chance to gain some valuable data as to the effectiveness of the plan and promotions. The company plans on offering cooking class socials. “We will initiate specialty cooking classes as a way to increase the consumption of high-margin items among existing customers and to build awareness, trial, and regular shopping among new customers.” (Apollo Group, Inc., 2007) These classes will enable Kudler Fine Foods to tap into awareness of what customers want, where the customers are that are interested and if the catering business could be a valuable asset to the company.
The well known marketing mix of, product, price, place and promotion are key components that Kathy Kudler and her staff will need to consider as she considers this new expansion of the business. The company carries a unique assortment of gourmet foods and will be able to use these products in addition to newer products in the catering service. The types of products at Kudler Fine Foods allow the company to cater events such as weddings, receptions and classy parties where the quality of the food and beverages are the main consideration. The prices associated with the catering service will need to remain competitive with other catering companies in the area. The other businesses within a geographical location relative to the stores will need to be researched to determine how pricing should be approached. A well thought out advertising campaign will be essential in alignment with pricing geared toward the competition.
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Kathy Kudler should be keeping up with the latest in the gourmet food business and the economy as the owner of a food establishment. She can access vital information for the expansion into catering by using resources. Caterer & Hotelkeeper, a journal geared toward this type of business and other well known resources like, Food & Beverage, Progressive Grocer, Nation’s Restaurant News, Business Review, Food Industry Journal and World News Connection would be beneficial for ideas and the economical factors she will be facing with this next addition to the company.
Kathy will need to do a market survey within a specific radius of her locations to determine what her competition is, what products they carry, what services they provide and the prices they charge for these items. She then needs to look at her own expenses for the catering service and determine how she will price her services. This is something that the executives at Kudler Fine Foods can assist with and meet with her to make final decisions and plans before opening the new service. Costs such as hiring new employees and travel expenses will need to be considered in the overall plan for determining pricing and how to compete with other companies.
Place is not just about location. The term is more aligned with distribution. “Distribution is about getting the products to the customer.” (NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, 2008) The geographic location does help determine which consumers will utilize the services or products of the business. The sales plan for 2007 at Kudler Fine Foods incorporates the vision associated with place. “At this time, we are focusing on improving our existing locations. However, sales are encouraged to actively consider new ways that we can expand our business geographically in the future.” (Apollo Group, Inc., 2007)
She may want to consider a product fair where she provides a sampling of the items she might carry for the catering service. This aligns with the sales plan for 2007 where the company offered cooking classes to increase awareness. Many of the new customers gained from this venture would probably be interested in the product fair to increase their awareness even more. She could have vendors set up their products and provide samples to the customers. Surveys can be used at each vendor’s booth to rate the product quality, price range and if they would choose this item when catering a gourmet event such as a wedding reception. A coupon for a discount or free item from the two gourmet grocery shops could be given to each customer for added exposure. This would allow new customers to come to the stores and provide another chance to sample the quality of this fine company. This would be a research tool that reaches out directly to the consumer she wishes to sell to.
Another area Kudler Fine Foods can utilize is their ability to handle technology. They use spreadsheets to handle survey data and have computer networked systems in the stores. They generate forms for ordering and use them consistently within the management teams. Products, pricing, records of previous orders and all other aspects are stored electronically in an organized manner where accessing the data is not complicated. The catering service within the company can be set up in a similar manner and data can be maintained to determine how well the service is doing as well as information necessary to affect changes along the way. Surveys from catering events can be used to determine if products are worth keeping and to determine if there are products consumers would like to see added.
The decision to use local organic growers puts the company in a position to promote the use of local business. This is a good marketing strategy and helps the economy close to home. There are many benefits of buying locally. Foods, especially fruits and vegetables lose their essential vitamins and minerals as they become less fresh and especially when they travel great distances. A piece of fruit in a local grocery store chain may have traveled thousands of miles before reaching its final destination. The benefit of having fresher more vital foods adds to the quality of the product for the consumer. Kudler Fine Foods can promote this benefit now that they are using local organic growers to supply many of their fine products.
The company founded by Kathy Kudler provides a service to consumers who like to cook gourmet meals without having to drive all over. The local produce now offered is a plus for the business and the idea of adding on a catering company seems to complete a well rounded vision. The catering service, if researched and planned well, will be a welcome addition and should be profitable for the company.
Apollo Group, Inc. (2007). Kudler Fine Foods. Sales & Marketing. Retrieved March 15th, 2008. MBA 502 – Managing the Business Enterprise. https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/CIST/VOP/Business/Kudler/Sales/KudlerSM002.htm
NetMBA Business Knowledge Center (2008). The Marketing Mix (The 4 P's of Marketing). Retrieved March 16th, 2008, from http://www.netmba.com/marketing/mix/