Born of the idea to preserve authentic Italian cuisine, Academia Barilla has faced strategic issues to increase profitability and growth. Offering not only high quality food products, but an education on Italian gastronomy, Academia relies on a differentiated marketing message of authenticity, with the quality to prove it. While striving to teach buyers of the difference between imitation and true Italian cuisine, Academia must continue to seek new strategies to reach a broader customer base. By studying the firm’s core competencies, and performing analysis on the industry, Academia has the tools necessary to meet their objectives.
Academia Barilla’s consumers are still a specialized target, despite recent efforts for expansion and growth. For its gourmet foods product line, demographics of consumers in major markets tend to be upper middle to high class citizens of middle to older age. Italy represents the major market for Academia Barilla, with Europe and North America showing promising growth. However, recent severe economic troubles in Italy, Europe, and the United States are a major cause of concern and must be monitored. Regulatory bodies in the countries which market Academia Barilla do not tend to interfere with production. Current consumer trends for healthier, more organic products should be monitored. Whole-wheat and low-carbohydrate products have increased in demand during the past half-decade. Recent developments in the IT field have helped bring e-commerce to new heights. Finally, emerging economies in countries such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia may be targets for possible future high growth opportunities.
Academia Barilla’s industry comprises of not only fine Italian cuisine artisans, but culinary academies as well. The threat of new entrants is relatively moderate. While large economies of scale are not feasible with all high quality food items, barriers are low for specific specialized food products, such as imported meats and cheeses. For culinary institutes, high initial capital investments are a detriment. The bargaining power of suppliers is high, due to product quality. Academia Barilla, for example, has only select suppliers that meet the requirements for quality in its food products. The buyers are also powerful, as gourmet restaurants and food stores are relatively small and few in number. Suppliers must compete with rivals for the select buyers in major markets. High storage costs, lack of differentiated products, and balanced competitors further intensify this rivalry.
Academia Barilla’s competitors include fine Italian food providers Cirio, Colavita, and Vantia. International gastronomy institutes, such as the Culinary Institute of America and the French Culinary Institute, compete with Barilla’s...