Page 2: The product mix
The product mix is the complete range of products produced by a company. When managing a large range of products serving several markets, firms must develop ways of analysing the performance of these products.
Changes in consumer tastes mean that even though products such as Heinz Tomato Ketchup have staying power, there is always a demand for new products. Refreshing existing concepts through innovation extends the way in which products are used and consumed.
Firms need to use their knowledge of their market to:
- identify gaps and trends in existing and new markets
- develop creative ideas.
Gap filling products include innovative product extensions that match changing consumer needs. For example, many companies offer an optional organic product or range which co-exist alongside their mainstream lines. Heinz products are sold within fast-moving consumer goods markets. Today these markets are characterised by:
- intense competitive activity
- innovative and creative products
- rapidly changing markets reflecting different lifestyle/expectations.
For example, within these markets, many of today’s consumers do not want to spend time cooking. They want:
- products that are convenient that can be effortlessly cooked
- a broader range of product options with more choices to meet their needs, tastes and lifestyles
- convenient packaging that enables products to be eaten direct from the microwave
- products that do not create any washing up
- products that can be eaten on the move.
Over and above these generic qualities, many consumers want the reassurance that comes from superior quality associated with a brand heritage. Heinz is well placed to meet this requirement.