Research Paper: Kudler Fine Foods Product Launch Plan

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¶ … product launch plan for two markets (domestic and international): Canada and Italy.

Kudler Fine Foods started in California, in1998, by Kathy Kudler with the intent of supplying high-end diversity gourmet items at reasonable prices. It has already expanded to four stores and is considering international expansion. Specifically, Kudler's Fine Foods is considering a move into the Canadian and Italian retail grocery market, in both cases targeting these markets with their high quality organic wines.

Italy, whose culture is well versed in gourmet foods, is likely to be interested by this new entrant. Cultural differences in both countries might pose challenges, but with details carefully and meticulously worked out in the product plan, there is reason for optimism regarding the profitability of Kudler's entrance into both the Italian and Canadian grocery market. The objective of this product launch plan is to delineate the plans for Kudler's domestic development.

Product description: Organic wines

Kudler's reputation is associated with its world-class wines, gourmet meats, and other select grocery items. Its American brand of wine has a distinct, yet uniquely Californian brand that differs in taste and form from the wines produced by other countries. The advantage with Californian wine, is that whilst organic wine, given its advantages usually ranges from $20 upwards (compared to the regular wine that ranges from a few bucks to hundreds of dollars), California organic wine is usually cheaper, particularly the green brands (Liebert, 2001).

According to Kudler, their wines are an aggregation of specialized and top-notch domestic and international products that have been rated so by discerning connoisseurs. Kudler's also carries a wide variety of spirits at reasonable prices. (for more details see Kudler Fine Foods; Wine at http://kudlerfinefoods.info/our-products/wine/).

Product Positioning

In both countries, Kudler will position itself as a niche market that specializes in a Californian homegrown, distinct wine. "International demand for California wines continues to grow rapidly. In almost 20 years," according to California wines (Eco-friendly, 2005), "exports have increased from $35 million in 1985 to a record $808 million in 2004. This is an average increase of almost 20% per year." This accessibility can be used to Kudler's advantage in both countries.

California organic wines are particularly in demand since they are cheaper than regular organic wines. This is particularly so with the green brand. More so, California wines are more accessible, since they are produced in plentiful supply (Liebert, 2001)

In Canada, the focus will be on its organic appeal. Canadians are enthused with organic food to an even greater extent than Americans are. Kudler, therefore, will position itself as a 100% organic wine producer. This is particularly important since Canada had strict standards about what constitutes organic wine, and Kudler will have to cohere closely to its rules in order to be accepted (CBC, 2009).

In Italy, the product positioning will be on the American niche of the wine. As yet mostly Italian wines are being exported, and most of these are in the category of sparkling and distinctly Italian taste and form. Italian exports, although once producing 30% of that input of the massive export of wines produced by the European Union, has now decreased to 25%, although its wine export is still on the rise (Export.By (n.d)). Since Kudler features a different brand and taste, Kudler can appeal to Italian interest in increasing Italian winery exportation by indicating that it can include a purely American brand -- a different taste and caliber -- into the Italian export market. Local consumption may have decreased, but Kudler, by entering the market, may be able to capture something of that export share whilst still profiting from local consumption. It is to this reputation of Italian production in wine that Kudler, with attention on organic wine specialties, will aim to target itself.

Targeting

Kudler will target itself to two different markets in Canada and in Italy.

In Canada, Kudler will, primarily, target itself to the youth followed by the younger middle-aged and elderly population. Gatehouse (2009) reports Canada as being the third 'hottest' wine consuming country with consumption up to almost 27 per cent in four years. The most preferred wine is red, with the wine brand rose being a winner: "In the old days, you looked stupid drinking rose. It was only for people who knew nothing about wine," he says. "But now the attitude has changed. Younger people find it easy and fun. The kind of thing you might have at the disco.." Apparently the market seems to stem from more wealthy people, immigrants (although not necessarily), and the young (college aged). And another fact that Kudler should consider: the majority of Canadian prefers the less sophisticated vintage to the more sophisticated brands. (Gatehouse, 2009).

In Italy, Kudler will target itself to the export market. Here it will be to the retail and discount stores and to wholesale grapes and wine shipment distributors. Targeting these companies will be a whole issue unto itself, and part of this will be worked out in the 'distributuion' segment.

Market Needs

Enthusiasm over organic foods is on the rise, as fears over pesticides and concerns about sustainability have driven consumers to go organic. This is specifically so in Canada where "Organic food is a booming business & #8230; with sales reportedly rising by 20% a year for most of this decade. The market has grown so quickly that major supermarket chains are having difficulty keeping up with the demand" (CBC, 2009).

Whilst Canada has native wine producers, its wineries fulfill only a fraction of the growing demand for the beverage. In this way, Kudler, already accepted by Canadian standards for its organic trademark, can supply a Canadian national need for its organic wine. Moreover, according to a report issued by a Canadian winemaking association, Canadian wine imports and exports has focused on marketing the region's ice wines (O'Dell, 2009). Kudler can step in by promoting its California-based wine that possesses a distinct flavor thus filling a gap in a market that already prizes organic wine.

As regards the need in the Italian market: Italian export of wine, always strong, has, in the last few year with the troubling economy, somewhat lessened. Italy's reputation as a wine-producing country is incorrigible. Although local consumption of wine is weak, it would certainly welcome support in increasing its wine exports and Kudler with its quality organic wine, a brand different to that of the regular Italian merchandise -- can step in with its American products.

Market potential and market growth

Italy shows a pronounced tendency to appreciate food and beverage (Datamonitor, 2010), but even though it has demonstrated a current growth in preference for discount items and retail chains (Aruvian, 2010; Datamonitor, 2010), Kudler may have an advantage in being a niche market that can profitably expand itself through proper branding and marketing efforts (Alvin, 2010). This is particularly so since, with a market glutted with millions of consumers, Kudler fills a niche market with its desired high-end gourmet items at reasonable prices to a culture that appreciates gourmet foods. More so, there are certain geographic areas that possess utter lack of gourmet service, and Kudler can fill that gap with its reasonably priced gourmet foods. In fact, it is precisely this perception of scarcity that can be advantageous to the company (Alvin, 2010; Datamontior, 2010).

Even if there is little local interest in Kudler beverages, Kudler can still find opportunity in the export field. This is particularly so given the fact that Kudler intends to make its entry with its Californian-based wine, and being that Italy is a wine-productive country and seeking to increase its exports this would make it more than welcoming to anyone who will help them increase their local wine exportation. Kudler can use this to its advantage.

In Canada, the market potential is clear: There is an attraction towards organic food, and Canada, known as the wine country, has always liked wine. In fact, according to Gatehouse (2009), Canada is the third 'hottest' wine consuming country with consumption up to almost 27 per cent in four years.

Canadians, too have their distinct type of wine. Kudler integrates the Canadian preferences towards organic and beverage in one product, and, being that Californian organic wine is particularly cheap this should be a great selling factor, particularly since it is the Canadian youth that are one of the largest wine purchasers in the country.

Company SWOT analysis (include analysis from both countries chosen) Canada and Italy

Strengths: Kudler Fine Foods possesses a reputation for producing high-end diversity gourmet items at reasonable prices. It can meet the Canadian demand for organic quality goods, and this demand exists on a level even higher than in the U.S. Of benefit to Kudler, is the fact that there has been a greater congruence of the Canadian with the American national standard which has resulted in greater acceptance of American wines. There is a high demand in Canada, in general, for wine. Californian organic wine, moreover, is cheaper than organic wine produced… [END OF PREVIEW]

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