lunes, 12 de enero de 2009

The Agribusiness World Today

Ken Shwedel
Investigador de Agronegocios de Rabobank, México
12 - 19 de Enero de 2009

The World

What consumers want: With the New Year promising to be difficult economically, food companies are asking what will consumers want and need so that the companies can adjust strategies accordingly. Mintel, the U. S. based consumer market research Company, has identified what they consider as the major “ways consumers will adapt in 2009”. It has become clear the consumers are trading down, but it also appears that they “will still crave a little treat now and again.” Likewise they will look for products that “sooth, energize or simply lift the spirits. “What this suggests is that mid-market strategies will come under pressure this year. Consumers are also expected to “continue to seek convenience and simplicity.” At the same time, probably to offset the feeling of helplessness in the face of the economic situation, consumers will want to feel more in control regarding their foods and product choices, seeking “out products and services that give them exactly what they want, when they want it”. This sort of take-charge and back-to-basics attitude suggests that consumers will make more meals at home. It also means that they will look to and deal with companies and brands that they feel they can trust. This will work to branded products —be it manufacturers’ or store brands— advantage, increasing the value of brand equity.

It may be a G spot, but maybe it’s not that sweet:
Companies are always looking for innovative and intriguing ways to promote their products, but sometimes it can be too intriguing. This is what some analysts are saying about Gatorade’s newest promotional efforts. The company came out with “ambiguous black-and-white spots featuring only the stark letter G in the closing shot.” That did, of course raise some interest and consumers were directed to the YouTube channel “whatsg1965”. But when they got there they still weren’t given brand information. In fact, some consumers thought that the “G spot” was a promotion for a number of other products and even for God. It is still too early to say that the “message is too subtle” and the promotional effort is a failure. The company, for their part, wants to “leave things open to conversation [so that] more conversation will occur”. In fact we are talking about it, so it has created some buzz. But the real question is whether or not consumers will connect and what it will mean to consumers as they make a purchasing decision.


Stimulating the economy:
Recognizing that the global economic situation will be more difficult than originally thought (for example, the U. S. Congressional Budget Office projects a 2.4 percent contraction of that country’s economy), the Calderon Administration announced a series of additional measures aimed at lessening the impact on Mexico. The program looks to protect jobs, and control inflation. Among the 25 different measures, the government will accelerate budgetary expenditures and freeze the price of gasoline. The private sector, while supporting the program, says that what is really needed is for Congress to move forward on needed structural reforms. The opposition, for their part, is concerned that the program will be used to promote votes for the government in the 2009 Congressional elections.

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