Taste tests, respondents, Greggs plc, market, market research, customers, consumers, business, product development, questionnaire, brand, retailer, food.
Having discovered what customers' needs are, a business then faces the challenge of completely meeting those needs quickly and profitably.
This case study looks at an important part of market research. The study illustrates how one of the UK's leading bakery related retailers researches the market and uses the information it gains to influence its decisions about product development.
Many of the UK's best known business names e.g. Marks and Spencer, Virgin, Rolls-Royce began as small units owned originally by no more than a couple of enterprising people, and in some cases by only one person.
These entrepreneurs were successful in identifying and meeting customer needs. Because of this, they were able to grow organically by putting back profits into internal growth.
Many successful businesses also grow by buying up related businesses, including some of their direct competitors.
Today, Greggs plc is the UK's leading bakery retailer, specialising in sandwiches and savouries, with a particular focus on takeaway food and catering.
In 1994, Greggs plc acquired the Bakers Oven business, and this operates as a premium brand within the Group.
Exitsting products may need to be altered to satisfy changing customer requirements. At the same time new products need to be introduced to meet the needs of consumers looking for something new and exciting.
Taste tests are ideal for goods such as food that are consumed directly.
This is a popular quantitative market research technique in which interviewers recruit random respondents on the street and invite them to take part in the research.
Having identified the group, an appropriate sample can be selected for testing using a screening questionnaire that provides the right balance of age, gender and frequency of purchase.
As a result of carefully reading this case study, students should be able to:
- identify the importance of customer focus in the marketing process
- outline the difference between organic growth and acquisition
- explain what is meant by market research and list/outline some important research techniques
- explain the importance of sample size
- discuss the value and significance of taste testing
- explain how taste tests are carried out.