Tate & Lyle
Carst and Walker

Top Five Tips for ingredient companies

In the highly competitive ingredients market, how can you ensure success? Jamie Rice, director of UK research company, RTS, offers five proven tips to growing your business. 1. Know your market

As an ingredient company, do you know the size of your market? Are you actively increasing your share or simply growing with the market?

In my experience of working with ingredient companies across the global marketplace, I’ve found that understanding your market is essential not only to see where your company currently fits into it but also where you want to be.

If you know your market, you can then understand exactly where you need to focus, which in turn will enable you to see new opportunities, increase sales team performance and bring clarity to your business planning.

Knowing your market will enable you to monitor the progress of company objectives and financial targets. You can determine if your strategy will deliver what you are looking to achieve and if not explore new opportunities for both organic and external growth.

2. See the complete picture

Is all information useful?  As a company you are probably bombarded with information, but if you can’t apply it to your specific needs then all this data does is cloud the issues that really matter.

We have found that by measuring total food consumption you can see opportunities outside of existing markets and break down sales by volumes in different channels, including industrial ingredients and foodservice. This will allow you to quickly build up a complete picture of the opportunities available to you.

I am constantly receiving marketing information, news updates and promotions full of information. The key is to carefully evaluate the most valuable, consistently reliable sources. This may mean cutting or back on some services and finding one or two trusted suppliers who can save valuable time and money and give you the information you really need.

3. Add value through trends

Trends aren’t just clever marketing terms in the global food and ingredients industry today: they are fast becoming the key driving force of growth. So it is crucial to keep abreast of this ever-changing area in order to stay ahead of your competition.

The industrial food and drink market is growing slowly at rate of 2.4% per year while trends such as ethical, organic and convenience are delivering growth rates of up to 14% per year. This therefore represents a massive opportunity to add value. The message is clear: unless you’re supplying products aimed at these trends, you will be left behind in declining markets that are under increasing price pressure.

4. Look beyond brand share

In today’s global food and drink industry, brand share is now irrelevant when it comes to understanding the ingredients market.

With so many major brands outsourcing production, the critical consideration today is identifying where this production takes place.

A large part of my work at RTS is now focused on helping companies to identify production sites and calculate ingredient volumes used by each site. Our clients have found this extremely useful in discovering where the real supply opportunities are.

5. Be ahead of your customers

As an ingredient supplier, it is no longer simply enough to turn up and present your latest ingredients.

In fact, it’s often expected that you are ahead of the game, providing your customers the latest information regarding markets, cutting edge technology, packaging, trends and ‘the story’ behind your new products.

Source: RTS blog

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