Innocent is a well-established smoothie and health food company in its home market of the UK and has had success in moving into various markets in the European Union. With the added partnership with global brand Coca-Cola, it could be said that Innocent is in prime position to begin its expansion into new markets globally. This report will note the benefits and potential risks of entering the chosen market of Japan based on research and theoretical analysis.
Japan was first chosen due to initial research showing that it was one of the most health conscious countries in the world, with the lowest obesity rates. Further investigation showed their links with Coca Cola, and a gap in the market for ‘off the shelf smoothies’, despite the existing popularity of health drinks and demand for commuter friendly food.
However entering into a market as different as Japan is not without its risks, and must be ensured to be successful, with the help of market research, marketing, and operational theories, lest the new venture become a very costly mistake.
Target Consumer Market
When moving to a market with a consumer culture so different from the home market, a company must be careful to analyse its target audience in detail, to avoid and costly cultural faux pas. To get a good feel for the Japanese culture, a good place to start would be the experts in the cultural studies field. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, created during his in depth GLOBE study of the cultures of the world, gives a good comparison between the priority differences between Japanese and English culture. A detailed analysis of the cultural differences will be given in the ‘Marketing Issues’ section of the report.
As for specific cultural information, the most up to date information on consumer preferences can be found on Euromonitor, which says that as one of the healthiest countries in the world, fruit and vegetables are eaten a lot as snacks, particularly among the new generation of health conscious adults (in particular females). Even within junk food, many snacks include real fruit juice (Euromonitor, Jan 2013). This is a good indication of the demand for Innocent, as its status as 2 of your 5 a day would be drawing on this tried and tested successful sale of fruit based snacks.
The most common favourite fruits are watermelon, strawberries, oranges, persimmon, and more recently superfruit juices (acai berry juice etc.) with healthy drinks such as green tea being popular too (Euromonitor, Jul 2013)
Young professionals often commute on public transport or bike, and therefore commonly eat breakfast and lunch out – either at fast food chains or bringing their own ‘bento boxes’ from home. Snack packaging must be sturdy enough to get to the commuters destination in one piece (Euromonitor, Jan 2013).
The Japanese have a tendency to do regular shops at corner shops such as 7-Eleven’s and top up as the need arises. It is uncommon to do a big weekly shop, due to the majority of...