Market Research


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Market Research

  1. 1. Arielle Tenorio IB Business SL Period 8 Introduction The International School Bangkok high school cafeteria features the catering service of Epicure, a private limited company in the tertiary sector. Mrs. Usui acts as a liaison between ISB and Epicure, managing the food and services provided by the catering service and making sure the needs of ISB students and community members are met. The coffee shop, located in the back corner of the cafeteria, is also a part of Epicure’s services and is managed by Mrs. Usui. Known as The Grind, it sells a variety of drinks and snacks and is open during school hours. As the manager of this operation, Mrs. Usui constantly seeks ways in which The Grind can attract and satisfy more student customers, The Grind’s largest group of stakeholders. Market research was conducted in an attempt to determine a way in which The Grind can meet the wants and needs of its high school student customers. If The Grind appealed to more high school students, sales could increase and lead to an increase in revenue and profit. Students from grades 9 to 12 were surveyed to gain insight into the wants and needs of these customers. This information was then used to determine a way in which The Grind can increase revenue. Methodology and Procedure Primary research was conducted to gain information about the eating habits and preferences of ISB’s high school students. A survey of ten questions was created with both open and close-ended questions. The link for this survey was made accessible to all high school students via Facebook, a popular networking website. 90 male and female students from grades 9 to 12 were able to complete the survey within the time constraint. Of the 90 respondents, 38 were male and 52 were female. Although female students represent over 50% of the sample, percentages and statistics concerning the sexes, ages and backgrounds of all high school students is unknown. Because of this, random sampling was essential. A snowballing technique was used to encourage as many high school students as possible to complete the survey. With this method, students were told to ask their friends to answer survey questions and pass the Survey Monkey link along. Due to the method of random sampling and snowballing and the the large size of the sample itself, the sample group is a sufficient representation of the whole high school student community.
  2. 2. Data Graph 1: Student Satisfaction Levels with Food and Drinks Sold at The Grind Graph 1: This graph shows that the majority of student survey-takers are have neutral feelings towards the products available at The Grind. The second largest group rated their satisfaction at a “2”, indicating that they are in between dissatisfaction and neutrality. The third largest group feels sufficiently satisfied, rating a “4”. Although the largest percent of surveyed students, at 32%, feels neutral, the percentages of those rating their satisfaction at 2’s and 4’s are similarly high at 28% and 20%, respectively. Graph 2: Frequency of Student Visits per Week 25 20 Number of Students 15 10 5 0 1 to 2 3 to 4 5 to 6 7 to 8 9 to 10 11 to 12 Number of Visits per Week Graph 2: This graph displays the number of students that visit The Grind to browse or purchase items with varying frequency. The data is skewed, with the majority of students visiting The Grind one to six times a week. The average number of visits to The Grind each week is five
  3. 3. Graph 3: Percentage of Student Visits to The Grind at Different Time Periods 15.6% 13.3% Before 7:20 35.6% Betw een Class During Lunch After 2:05 80.0% Graph 3: This graph shows the percentage of surveyed students that go to The Grind in the morning before 7:20, between classes, during lunch time or after dismissal at 2:05. The majority of these students go to The Grind during lunch time, representing 80% of the sample group. The next largest group, at 35.5%, visits The Grind between classes. The smallest percentage goes in the morning. Graph 4: Percentage of Students with Varying Levels of Health Consciousness Graph 4: An overwhelming majority of students rated their level of health consciousness at a “3”, suggesting that they are neither particularly healthy nor unhealthy in their eating habits. The next largest group, at 28%, considers themselves in between neutrality and high health consciousness.
  4. 4. Graph 5: Opinions on Whether or Not The Grind Should Sell New Products Graph 5: This graph displays the number of students who answered the open- ended question asking their opinions on whether or not The Grind would benefit from selling new food and drink products. 60 Students wrote in “yes”, 14 wrote “no” and 16 students did not specify or were undecided. Analysis Graph 1 suggests that if those students in the 32% (neutral) group moved up into the 20% (satisfaction rating of 4) group by increased satisfaction with The Grind’s products, The Grind would have an overwhelming majority of satisfied customers in the high school. This would likely increase sales revenue and possibly profits as more satisfied students would purchase more items and with more frequency. According to Graph 2, high school students visit The Grind to browse or purchase at an average of 5 times a week. Assuming that this suggests one visit per school day, The Grind should seek to attract customers to purchase multiple times a day. A general increase in customer satisfaction might accomplish this, but other measures can be taken to encourage more students to purchase products at The Grind several times a week. Because of The Grind’s hours of service, students can purchase food and drinks anytime before school begins at 7:20, between classes, during lunch, and after school dismissal at 2:05. Most students go to The Grind during lunch time. If The Grind attracted more students during times of decreased popularity, such as in the morning and after school, the increased frequency of purchases would also lead to an increase in revenue and possibly profit.
  5. 5. According to Graph 5, an overwhelming majority of students believe that new products would benefit The Grind and would attract more students. Since Graph 4 shows that most students aren’t particularly health-conscious, there are many food and drink options for The Grind to experiment with and sell. Considering that the sampling method was random and does not represent the high school students with exact proportions, confidence levels in the research are not high. Also, because of the snowballing method and the presentation of the survey online rather than in-person, survey answers may not be inaccurate if students rushed through questions with little interest or concern. Conclusion The collected data suggests that The Grind could increase revenue by increasing levels of student satisfaction in the products. This could mean the quality, quantity or variety of products. They might also benefit from focusing on ways to increase sales during periods when students are less likely to visit The Grind, such as before and after school. Lastly, it was noticed that most students suggested that The Grind should introduce new products. In this open-ended question, many students suggested fruit smoothies and a variety of snacks. Students also commented on the price, suggesting that prices should be reduced; however, Epicure may not gain a profit from their sales if they reduce their prices further. Recommendations are as follows: • Introduce new products such as fruit smoothies (other than the existing blueberry smoothie), the popular Bobby’s Lemonade, softer cookies and other desert treats • Introduce new products specific to the time period. For example, different breakfast items, daytime snacks, lunch items and smaller snacks to carry on the bus. • Post signs to advertise these new (and existing) products • Have promotional days (free muffin with coffee, buy one get one) These suggestions might encourage more students to purchase more from The Grind and with more frequency, increasing the company’s sales revenue.