479° Popcorn <br />Sales Plan<br />Executive Summary<br />479° Popcorn is an organic popcorn product with an upscale taste featuring the highest quality of organic ingredients and exotic flavourings produced locally and around the world, including vegan friendly flavours. <br />The mission of 479° Popcorn is to provide its customers with organic popcorn products, which are produced by organic producers fostering sustainability and thereby reducing the earth’s carbon footprint. 479° works with farmers and other producers who ensure that our planet is taken care of, farmers who practice sustainable organic farming and vendors who provide non-toxic products which are used in the everyday operations. <br />The goal of 479° Popcorn is to provide customers with popcorn which has a corny, nutty flavor and not the bland taste of mass produced popcorn. 479° Popcorn uses only high quality organic ingredients. Popcorn batches are small and made by hand using heavy copper kettles, any batch which is not up to the high standard set by 479° never ends up with the customer. The popcorn is made to order and is shipped the same day. <br />479° Popcorn’s marketing strategy is to increase sales by penetrating the Canadian market in the Greater Halifax area focusing on students, the corporate sector and families. 479° Popcorn began out of a childhood memory and emphasizes families spending quality time together and has developed quality organic popcorn to be shared during those quality times. <br />While there are many brands of popcorn on the market, three have been identified as being in general competition with 479° Popcorn. Two other brands have been identified as major competitors with a large market share, but they do not produce organic popcorn.<br />479° Popcorn products will be available on-line and through store sales in partnership with retailers throughout the United States. 479° Popcorn will offer a variety of popcorn products, gift cards, corporate popcorn gifts and gourmet gift ideas.<br />Company Summary<br />479° Popcorn is an organic popcorn product with an upscale taste featuring the highest quality of organic ingredients and exotic flavourings produced locally and around the world, including vegan friendly flavours. <br />The mission of 479° Popcorn is to provide its customers with organic popcorn products, which are produced by organic producers fostering sustainability and thereby reducing the earth’s carbon footprint. <br />479° Popcorn products will be available on-line and through store sales in partnership with retailers throughout the United States. 479° Popcorn will offer a variety of popcorn products, gift cards, corporate popcorn gifts and gourmet gift ideas.<br />479° Popcorn products will be available on-line and through store sales in partnership with retailers throughout the United States. 479° Popcorn will offer a variety of popcorn products, gift cards, corporate popcorn gifts and gourmet gift ideas.<br />479° Popcorn’s expenditures and revenues to be generated are found in the appendix. All operating capital will be funded by the cash flow of the business.<br />Product and Services<br />479° Popcorn produces organic popcorn with a variety of exotic flavours. Some of 479°’s current flavours are, Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt, Black Truffle & White Cheddar, Chipotle Caramel & Almonds, Fleur de Sel Caramel, Ginger Sesame Caramel, Madras Curry Coconut & Cashew, Pimenton de La Vera, and Vietnamese Cinnamon Sugar. Many of 479°’s popcorn flavours are also vegan friendly.<br />Market Analysis<br />Market Segmentation<br />Popcorn is already a well established product, with a large market of consumers. Currently, 479° is only marketing to American consumers. A diversely accepted product such as popcorn would be profitable worldwide, not just in a few states. To direct focus on our sales plan, we have decided to increase 479° Popcorn sales by penetrating the Canadian market. To ensure that 479° Popcorn is competitive in the Canadian market we need to develop an effective target market and adequate advertising and product promotions. To determine our products ideal target market(s), we developed detailed market segmentations. <br />Geographic:<br />Our goal is to increase advertising and sales of 479° Popcorn products in Canada. Provincial boundaries offer a natural geographic segmentation in Canada. Natural geographic segmentation can even further be narrowed to city boundaries. Our initial geographical focus is residents of Greater Halifax, Nova Scotia; including Bedford and Dartmouth. We came to this determination because the majority of our group is located in or around Halifax, which gives us both a personal and educational perspective. <br />Demographic:<br />Nova Scotia is known as Canada’s education province. This determines one of Halifax’s natural demographic segmentation variables: students. The three major universities in Halifax alone contribute over 28,000 students to the city. If increasing sales in Halifax continues to be our initial plan, we will have to aim a portion of our marketing toward the student population. <br />479° Popcorn is fairly expensive compared to other popcorn brands. The company defends its price point by promoting its popcorn’s health benefits and unique flavours. 479° offers a “Corporate Gifts” section on its website; aiming toward working professionals, whom are able to afford their product. It is common in Canada for corporate professionals to send gifts to clients or coworkers for a variety of occasions. A popcorn gift basket would attract professionals since popcorn is a relatively “safe gift” idea, as it is widely enjoyed by many individuals. Halifax’s professional field continues to grow as it is the central point to the Maritime Provinces. For this reason, a portion of our marketing, promotions and advertising should be focused on the working professional. <br />Families are another demographic segmentation we will focus on when developing a sales plan to penetrate the Canadian market. According to the Canada in Context-Household and Families, government website, as of 2006 family households accounted for 70% of Canada’s population. Generally family pastimes involve spending quality time together. A movie night in, is a pastime most Canadians participate in, as many companies advertise movies and popcorn together. Many people are familiar with the phrase, “a movie just isn’t the same without popcorn.” We will take a similar stance when advertising to Families; such as “479° Popcorn offers a healthy alternative for your Family Movie Nights,” in order to remain competitive.<br />Psychographic:<br />479° advertises its popcorn as organic and unique with vegan friendly options. We feel that organic popcorn products, especially those with unique flavours, will be very popular among a wide range of individuals, in today’s increasingly health conscious society. Popcorn is already a well established product, with a large market of consumers. Since 479° popcorn offers slightly different health advantages then other leading popcorn brands, we feel targeting individuals who maintain healthy lifestyles will be the most beneficial. <br />Behavioural:<br />Since popcorn is a well known product and is often chosen as a snack when watching a movie we can expect most individuals to consider 479°’s product on a regular basis. One behavioural factor that will affect 479° Popcorn’s competitive advantage is brand loyalty. There are many different brands of popcorn and consumers tend to be loyal to the brand they usually buy. Breaking this consumer loyalty to other popcorn brands will be difficult. <br /> <br />Target Market<br />Developing and promoting effectively to a direct target market, is the difference between selling and not selling your product. 479° Popcorn currently has a market of loyal customers. They also advertise to popcorn lovers and gift buyers, which they advertise under corporate gifts on their website. It’s important for any business to retain their current customers as well as gain new ones. Having a product and company that has loyal customer’s offers a sense of stability a company does not want to lose. Determining which market segment the majority of their regular customers are classified as will help 479° improve its marketing and sales strategies. To further define and maintain their current customer base 479° needs to direct some of their promotions to its loyal customers.<br />Since 479° have a patented coating and are able to develop new and unique flavours; marketing to popcorn lovers in general would be beneficial. Popcorn lovers would enjoy having the chance to try new flavours. 479° could offer samples in order to promote new products to this generalized target market. <br />To effectively penetrate Canada’s popcorn market, however, we need to develop a more specific target market(s) to break customer loyalty to other popcorn brands to increase our competitive advantage. Based on the market segmentation break down we have outlined three specific target markets which we should direct our advertising and sales promotions towards. The target markets for selling 479° Popcorn in Halifax, Nova Scotia are; students, professionals/corporations and families. Each of these target markets will have a slightly different promotion and advertising campaign to pique their interest in 479°’s products effectively. <br />Consumer Buying Patterns & Trends<br />According to The Canadian Snack Food Industry, page on the Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada website Canadian’s spent $981.4 million on snack foods at major retail changes in 2004. This was further estimated to be $24 per Canadian, spent on snack food. The same website also noted that:<br />“increased consumer interest in weight loss and healthy eating is causing the industry to rethink the production processes of existing products and to consider the development of new products that will respond to the interest in low calorie and low cholesterol snacks.”<br />The Canadian Snack Food Industry also made indications toward the fact that the snack food industry is one of the largest increasing industries, mainly domestic products, but since the free trade agreement between Canada and the USA, imports have begun to increase. <br />As of 2002 America’s largest exports were: “chocolates and candy at 42%, followed by salted snacks with 37%, baked sweet goods with 12%, popcorn with 5% and cookies and crackers and meat snacks, each with 2%” (Global Industry Snack Food Trends, Hodgen, Donald A.). (See Exhibit One). <br />If these statements are true, then we can expect to see consistent increase in snack food purchases, which includes popcorn. If American exports statistics of popcorn is an indication of Canadian demand for imported popcorn; we can also expect the 5% to stay constant or increase in the future. This is useful information for us to have regarding 479° popcorn’s penetration into the Canadian market, since it will help provide an accurate market share estimate. <br />Market Share<br />Since primary data was unable to be collected for our sales plan we have based our estimates off available secondary data. Snack food sales in Canada have been estimated at $981.4 million dollars in 2004. We also have information stating that popcorn is 5% of snack food imported into Canada from the USA. For the sake of this project, we assumed that the 5% export statistic was an accurate account of demand for popcorn. Following this logic we can assume that in 2004 the total popcorn sales in Canada were estimated at $49,070,000. It is difficult to determine how much of this overall expenditure is attributed to Nova Scotia, however, it is an excellent guideline to the overall market potential imported popcorn has in Canada. We would of course need to adjust for trend analysis, since the statistics are outdated by six years. For discussions purposes we assumed the snack food trend continues to increase at a .01% each year for a total adjustment percentage of .06. <br />In order to estimate Halifax’s popcorn sales potential, we will take 5.06% of the $24 a person is estimated to spend on snack food and multiply it by the current number of Halifax residents. The current population of Halifax is estimated to be 360,000 people; which puts Halifax popcorns sales roughly at $437,184 in 2010. <br />Optimistic Market Share*:<br />In a perfect world, 479° popcorn would have 100% of the imported popcorn market in Canada and have the full $437,184 in Halifax Sales. <br />Realistic Market Share*:<br />Due to a large amount of heavy competitors and because 479° Popcorn is a new product that has not developed customer recognition in Canada we can only assume that in a good year with effective advertising and promotion techniques to obtain between 10 and 15% <br />Pessimistic Market Share*:<br />The pessimistic market share would be if popcorn obtained less then 5% of the overall imported popcorn market in Canada. If this situation proved to be true, then implementing 479° products into the Canadian market would not be worthwhile for the company. <br />* For visual representation please see Exhibit Two<br />Competition/Competitors <br />There are many brands of popcorn that are largely recognized and in competition with 479° Popcorn. The three we have chosen as general competition for 479° to be aware of are: Orville Redenbacher, Charlie’s Truffle Pop and Newman’s Own Organic Pop’s Corn.<br />Two brands however, are seen to be as major competitors to 479° popcorn. Although they do not make organic popcorn, they have a large market share which 479° has to penetrate in order to make a place for itself. These products are Pop secret and ACT II.<br />In order to interoperate how strong the competition from these brands is we need to take a look at particular competitive products each brand sells and compared its strengths and weaknesses with 479° Popcorn products. (See Exhibit Three for Packaging).<br />Competitive Brand:<br />Orville Redenbacher<br />Competitive product: <br />Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop 94% Fat Free Butter<br />USDA-certified Smart Pop! Organic popcorn, a 94% fat-free, butter-flavored, fiber- and whole-grain filled popcorn that pops up just 105 calories, 4 gm. of protein, 0 gm. of trans fat and 0 mg. of cholesterol.<br />Price<br /> $3.50 for three 3.5-oz. bags<br />Strengths<br />
Whole grain, and has 0 grams of trans fat.
Just 3 cups of Orville Redenbacher's popcorn provides an entire serving of whole grain.
Most Americans don't get enough fiber daily, and one serving of Orville Redenbacher's provides 12% of the total daily amount recommended.
Orville Redenbacher's provides three times more fiber per 1-ounce serving than other snack foods, such as pretzels or potato chips.
Weaknesses<br />Bland compared with higher-fat products<br />Styrofoam-like texture, according to some<br />Promotion and Advertising<br />Orville Redenbacher has spent a lot on advertising and promotion. It has various television commercials as well as print advertisement to market its product. On the Orville Redenbacher website you can play interactive games; which are an interesting way to help people remember your various products. Orville Redenbacher also uses the internet as a medium to advertise its products.<br />The company also holds various campaigns like Pop n win contests; which gives customers coupons to buy Orville Redenbacher products.<br />Channel of Distribution<br />Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn is sold in more movie theatres than any other brand. It is also available at almost every retail store that sells popcorns.<br />There is no option to place an order through Orville Redenbacher’s website, although the product is available through other online channels. For example you can order the product through Amazon and other similar sites.<br />Competitive Brand:<br />Susan Rice truffle products<br />Competitive Product:<br />Charlie’s Truffle Popcorn<br />Price:<br />3-Ounce Bag: $8.99<br />Strength<br />
Finely grated truffle and truffle salt will stick to your fingers.
Advertising and Promotion<br />Susan Rice Truffle popcorn does not have very strong advertising and promotion. Consumers usually buy it more as a result of an impulse buying decision. The only other promotion Susan Rice Truffle has is word of mouth and product reviews featured in magazines.<br />Channel of Distribution <br />Charlie’s truffle popcorn is available at many gourmet retail stores; although they do not have a very strong distribution network and they are currently looking for new distributors. Charlie’s truffle can also be purchased online by ordering through the company website.<br /> <br />Competitive Brand<br /> Newman’s Own<br />Competitive Product: <br />Newman’s Own Organics Pops Corn Light Butter<br />Price:<br />$3 for three 3-oz. bags<br />Strengths<br />Organic; uses natural flavorings and no chemical preservatives<br />4.5 grams of fat per serving, low but not lowest<br />Weaknesses<br />Some consumers thought it was bland and/or dry<br />Not as buttery as other brands<br />Advertising and Promotion<br />Like Susan Truffle, Newman’s Own also does not have strong advertising techniques. It does, however, market itself by promoting its products online and through small campaigns. It has coupons available on its website which can be easily printed and used by any consumer, with a limit of two coupons per household.<br />Channel of Distribution<br />Newman’s has a complete list of all the retailers and websites that sell its products. Newman’s does not take orders from its website, although it informs its customer about the availability of its products on other various web sites.<br />Pop Secret and Act II:<br />Pop Secret and Act II are very strong brands with a huge market share. They have competitive prices and spend a lot on print advertising (newspaper and magazine), and TV commercials. They are high in calories and greasy. They have strong and effective distribution and marketing strategies. For example, their products are available at most club stores, mass merchandisers, drug chains as well as many supermarkets and grocery stores. They are also found in vending machines around the country.<br />They both are microwave popcorn which can be compared with 479°’s pop it yourself kit.<br />Analysis<br />If we analyze the different brands of popcorn’s we see that the major competitors, with huge market share are Orville Redenbacher, Pop Secret and ACT II. These are companies which have been in the market place for a while and have great customer loyalty, recognition and trust. It is important to learn the marketing channels they have used to create and maintain their brand image. Although, all three of them have not produced organic popcorn in the past; Orville has recently introduce it. Whether or not they have organic products, they are still major competitors in the popcorn industry.<br />The other two popcorn competitors, in the organic popcorn industry, are Newman’s organic popcorn and Charlie’s truffle popcorn. Although these competitors are not as large as the other brands they offer organic products, which 479° specializes in.<br />Newman’s has been around for a while and although it does not have strong advertising, it has promoted itself and has made a place for itself in the organic popcorn industry. Charlie’s truffle popcorn is one brand with which 479° is being directly compared, i.e. its truffle popcorn is compared with 479° popcorn flavors.<br />All of the popcorn brands have competitive prices except Charlie’s truffle popcorn, which has a slightly higher price due to the use of truffles.<br />SWOT: 479° Popcorn<br />Strengths:<br />
Organic, made with highest quality, natural ingredients
Only available in pre-determined packages- One flavor cannot be purchased
Organic & Healthy products becoming more popular
Halifax has a large concentrated consumer market (Downtown Area)
Consumer loyalty to other brands
Canadian market may not accept 479° products as quickly as American consumers
Strategy and Implementation <br />We have already established the place we wish to initially promote 479° Popcorn’s products; we have yet to determine effective price, promotion and distributions strategies. Accurate pricing, promotion and distribution techniques will make implementation of 479°’s products successful. The most effective way to establish pricing, promotion and distribution methods is to focus on 479°’s strengths and opportunities while minimizing weaknesses and threats. <br />Distribution <br />479° Popcorn’s current distribution patterns involve online sales and in store sales through connections they have developed with a variety of retail partners in the United States. These retail partners are different in every state and appear to be local businesses. If 479° Popcorn sold its products with a nation-wide franchise it may increase customer recognition and loyalty; this should be one focal point in penetrating the Canadian popcorn market. <br />If 479° Popcorn wishes to have successful sales in Canada it needs to develop customer recognition. Since there is already brand loyalty developed to current popcorn brands that are easily available, 479° Popcorn should still be available for purchase through its website but we should also attempt to sell the product to Canadian-Wide retailers. This would make 479° products easily available. It is harder to increase customer loyalty when a consumer is forced to search for the product. <br />Price<br />The current pricing for 479° popcorn products is $5 for 1.6 oz. However many of 479° popcorn products are pre-packaged in groups of 5 and cost $33 and up. <br />Promotion & Sales Strategy<br /> Students:<br />Students usually do not have large disposable incomes and therefore the current price of 479° Popcorn’s products would be too expensive. Since changing the overall price of 479°’s products is not realistic we need to consider offering a student discount. A student discount would be the best way to attract this target market to 479° Popcorn. <br />To advertise effectively to student’s posters and flyers could be posted and distributed at the universities. Online advertising could also be effective provided that it is easily seen on student frequent sites.<br /> Professionals:<br />479° Popcorn already advertises on its website “Corporate Gifts.” This advertising would remain effective in Canada as well. In order to influence professionals to visit 479°’s website online advertising would be effective as well as brochures or flyers in professional building lobbies. <br />Families:<br />Families generally focus on spending time together. Movie nights with popcorn are the obvious angle to promote. Effective promotion to families would be through print advertising such as magazines, newspapers or through television. Since we are just focusing on Halifax for the time being the expense of television advertising should be saved until 479° can sell its products through large franchisers. The benefits of healthy foods are being increasingly well known, so advertising 479°’s organic benefits would be beneficial in integrating the family market. <br />Since Halifax is not an extremely large city 479° popcorn could start by employing one or two sales people to promote its products in the area. The sales people would be responsible for distribution of all the print advertising as well as negotiating sales opportunities with retailers. The expenses occurred by 479° would consist of: Sales staff wages and any accommodation/travel expenses as well as printing and supply materials.<br /> <br />Management Summary<br />Jean Arnold, Founded 479° popcorn on September 2008 in a San Francisco kitchen with the help of her husband. Before starting 479° popcorn, she worked at Le Cordon Bleu in London, England where she came upon the discovery that 479° degrees Fahrenheit is the optimal temperature for popping corn. “I knew immediately that this would be the name of my popcorn company, because it reflects the careful attention to detail that I work so hard to incorporate into every single element of the business.”<br />Jean developed a keen appreciation for the culinary arts at a young age. During her formative years, she was exposed to many different food cultures having lived in three different continents and developed a highly discerning palate. With a zeal for traveling and cooking, Jean moved to Europe from NYC at the age of nineteen. She attended Cambridge University and earned a certificate at Le Cordon Bleu in London. After several years, Jean decided to return to the States and move to San Francisco. <br />Over the years, their San Francisco dinner parties became sought-after events as Jean became more committed than ever to finding the finest ingredients on the market and preparing the most unique dishes. After more than a decade in the business world, Jean decided that her obsession needed a larger outlet. As a result, 479° Popcorn was born, partly out of enthusiasm for her favourite snack and partly out of the frustration that she couldn't find anything to meet her exacting standards. <br />Financial Plan<br />See Exhibit Four<br />Appendix<br />Exhibits<br />Exhibit One: Export Snack Food Breakdown<br />Exhibit Two: Market Shares<br />Exhibit Three: Competitors Packaging<br />Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop 94% Fat Free ButterCharlie’s Truffle PopcornNewman’s Own Organics Pops Corn Light Butter<br />Pop SecretAct II<br />Exhibit Four: Financial Analysis <br />Schedule for monthly raw materials purchases : Kinds: QuantityPrice Total Caramel Collection 100$52$5,200Comfort Collection 100$46$4,600International Collection 100$49$4,900 Total quantity: 300 Total cost:$14,700Sales Schedule for Caramel Collection (monthly) : Kinds: SizeQuantityPrice Total Caramel Collection L400$8.99$3,596 M500$6.99$3,495 S800$4.99$3,992Totals 1700 Total cost:$11,083Sales Schedule for Comfort Collection (monthly) : Kinds: SizeQuantityPrice Total Comfort Collection L400$8.99$3,596 M500$6.99$3,495 S800$4.99$3,992Totals 1700 Total cost:$11,083Sales Schedule for International Collection (monthly) : Kinds: SizeQuantityPrice Total International Collection L400$8.99$3,596 M500$6.99$3,495 S800$4.99$3,992Totals 1700 Total cost:$11,083Total Monthly Sales : Kinds: SizeQuantityPrice Total Caramel Collection L1700$8.99$15,283Comfort CollectionM1700$6.99$11,883International CollectionS1700$4.99$8,483Totals 5100 Total cost:$35,649479° Pop Corn Income Statement (budgeted)Month ended Jan. 2011Revenues :Sales$35,649Less: Cost of goods sold -14,600Gross net income:21,049Expenses:Rent -1000Insurance -250Salaries exp. -5040Utilities-300Supplies-500-7090Income before tax :13,959HST 15%2093.85Net income $ 11,865 <br />References<br />1) Household breakdowns<br />http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=37<br />2) Export Stats<br />http://www.allbusiness.com/retail-trade/food-beverage-stores-specialty-food/632754-1.html<br />3) Canadian Snack Industry-Government Website<br />http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1172692863066&lang=eng<br />4) Halifax Population <br />http://foundlocally.com/halifax/local/Info-CityInfo.htm<br />5)479° Popcorn, by Laura Neilson posted on the website www.coolhunting.com in February 09.<br />6) 479° Popcorn’s website:<br /> www.479popcorn.com<br />