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Planters Nuts: Marketing Strategy For Growth

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Question:

Discuss about the Planters Nuts for Marketing Strategy for Growth.

 

Answer:

Introduction

The company Planters was founded by Amedeo Obici in 1906 along with his friend and business partner Mario Peruzzi. The company sold only one nut type and it was considered as the food for poor because it was produced locally. The company has vision from starting to become “the national nut” by providing high quality peanuts at low prices so that it can be consumed by everyone. For the marketing of its product, company had introduced an interesting logo named Mr. Peanut in 1916. The new invention of Mr. Peanut was “a little peanut person” with top-hat, monocle, cane and gloves and with a slogan “social rise of peanuts” (Planters, 2016).

With this slogan, Mr. Peanut was such strong advertising success which aim was to target major market segment for peanuts, especially of youth of America. From many years, Mr. Peanut is an important part in Planters’ marketing strategy. Mr. Peanut advertized that peanuts were a wonderful food for picnics, baseball games, and for use as a component in main dishes and can be served after lunch or dinner (Kraftfoods, 2016). Mr. Peanut always came in a different role all the time, for example in entertainment, imagination, curiosity, sport, action, and comedy advertisement.

The Planters are adopting different marketing campaigns to attract the customers. In the first half of 2013, company promoted the heart health benefits of peanuts in a fun digital campaign, for the first time in a long time Mr. Peanut will be promoting peanuts in TV advertising, advertising will be supported by digital and event marketing, peanuts will also get a improve from Planters holiday advertising (Magnesen, 2013). Because of its front and in the back design of packaging, and innovative print advertisements, Mr. Peanut became very popular everywhere in America. Planters introduced a new feature named “Peanut Car” which was soon after named “Nutmobile” which was a vehicle with the shape and color of same like peanut, and had a Mr. Peanut model on the back (Kraftsfood, 2013). Planters nuts has collaborated with the Kraft foods and with the help of Kraft Foods, Planters nuts has entered in the China market. Kraft Foods has officially introduced Planters brand in China (Yu, 2016). By the efforts of Kraft Foods, a campaign named ‘Naturally Remarkable’ became successful and Mr. Peanut was given a complete change to turn him like a peanut.

 

Case Study Problems

The case study is about strategies and operating process the nuts selling company, Planters Nuts. It is a famous company of nuts products in America. But from few years, there is a decrement in the salsas and revenue of the company. The aim of this report is to identify the problems the company is facing and give the solution of those problems regarding the sales of the company. There are basically four problems which are identified. The problems and their solutions related to sales of the company are discussed below:

5Cs Framework

Solution: 5C framework is a technique to conduct situational analysis. Situational analysis refers to examine the factors of external environment and capabilities of internal environment that impact the operational performance of a particular company. It is the most popular framework that helps to understand the external and internal environment of the company. It includes company, customers, competitors, collaborators and climate (Chernev, 2015).

  1. Company: In the analysis of company, vision, strategies, capabilities, product line, technology, and objectives of the company are considered (Jenster & Hussey, 2001). In the case of Planters Nuts, Company is selling nuts with multiple product lines such as peanuts, cashews, and mixed nuts. The vision of the company is to provide the product to everyone with the lower price. For achieving the targets, company introduced an icon named Mr. Peanut which is very popular among the customers. But problem is that it is focusing only same product lines of nuts. It is selling only peanuts in different ways but its competitors are focusing on almonds and pistachios along with peanuts. That is one of the reasons of decreasing the sales of Planters Nuts.
  2. Customers: Understanding and targeting customers is main part of the company. Targeting the right customers leads the success of the company. Planters Nuts has targeted the customers between the ages of 35 to 65. But companies forget that now a day, nuts are considered as a healthy snack. This is also a reason to decline the sales of the company.
  3. Competitors: It refers to the collected information about the competitor’s strength, intelligence, capabilities and weakness etc by the organizations. Competitors are the people who make the business environment active and identify new ideas of doing business. They always create a good competitive environment and maintain a cooperative situation of business (Porter, 1998). In the case of Planters Nuts, there are many competitors of the company who are selling the nuts with almonds and pistachios with a creative way. It impacts on the sales of Planters Nuts.
  4. Collaborators: Collaborators are the kind of stakeholder who impact on the operating activity of the company. It is important to understand their performance and issues to identify the business problem. Planter Nuts got some disappointed views that Planters is no longer playing a leading role in the category of growth. This is because of the lack of traditional way in the products.
  5. Climate: A company’s climate environment consists of all those factors and influences from outside of the company. Relevant means those important factors which have impact on company’s directions, objectives, business model, & strategy (Penaloza, Toulouse, & Visconti, 2013). It is also known as PEST analysis.
  • Political Aspects: Company is supported by local government but there are problem with tariff barriers.
  • Economic Aspects: Planters Nuts is the world’s largest and competitive industry with the products of nuts. . Although there are many risks in the different parts of world, the company seeks itself that it would be able to struggle to have a better economic condition.
  • Social aspects: Planters Nuts is being affected by the situation of the society where it is operating. The company is trying harder to increase its sales by different and innovating campaigns. Company tries to maintain good relations and reputation among the society where it is operating.
  • Technological Aspects: Although Planters Nuts has developed new technologies for harvesting nuts but still it is very far in technology compared with the world average level.
 

Marketing Research Undertaken by the Kraft Foods Group

Solution: Planters nuts is the part of Kraft Foods which is also famous for snacks such as Oreo cookies, Maxwell House coffee, Ritz cracker, and Kraft cheese. Planters were assigned to Kraft Groups which is a North American grocery business (Kraft Heinz, 2016).  Kraft foods had done research on the Planters nuts and analyzed that Planter’s annual revenue is around $1 billion and it is the largest selling brand of nuts in the country. But over the past six years, the sale of Planters has declined by 23% and household purchasing has declined from 46% to 38%.

The Kraft Foods gave the idea of “rethink everything” about the Planters brand. To achieve the full potential required changes, Kraft Foods had done a research with the help of senior brand manager of Planters Nuts. They had focused on three areas for research:

  • Targeting: It was analyzed that Planters is focusing only one target market that is between the ages of 35 to 65 and the company is trying “own” that segment. This is the main reason of declining the sales. Company should not focus on only one target market. It can adopt more than one target and change the positioning for target.
  • Leak in traditional areas: Company is providing of different product line such as peanuts, cashews, and mixed nuts to attract the customers. It is good to focus on new growth areas but by focusing on new growth areas which the Company is forgetting its traditional way. There are some more nuts such as almonds and pistachios which are liked by the customers and sales of theses nut are increasing. Thus, company should focus on natural nuts with innovative “new nuts”.
  • Competition: By the research, it has been analyzed that by focusing on almonds and pistachio, competitors are increasing their sales. Customers consider nuts as the healthier snacks so competitors are spending more money on almonds and pistachio in creative ways. To compete with the competitors, Planters Nuts has to make different strategy.

By the research, it has been concluded that many of the customers had expressed their disappointment towards Planters because it is not focusing on its role to provide best product in traditional way.

 

Consumer Behavior in the Snack Nut Category

Solution:  Consumer perception plays an significant role in the success or failure of any particular brand, product or company.  It enables organization to understand that the market strategy which is adopted by the organization is beneficial for the consumers (Martínez, 2012). By the survey, it has been found that more than 75% customers considers nuts as a healthy snacks as well as full of protein. The industries of nuts are producing more because consumers demand them for the nuts. There are an excitement about nuts and health among the customers. The producers of snack foods have noted the change in the demand of nuts by the consumers and they have also turned towards producing nuts. According to the survey, more than one third of all snacks food has been launched with nuts and seeds. Among consumers, peanuts also achieve well among the customers when compared to other nuts. The peanuts are demanded by the consumers as the most essential nut. Of course, nuts and seeds are a naturally inviting category to retailers when it brings opportunities, even healthy ones (CSD Staff, 2015). 

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning of Planters Nuts

Solution: Segmentation refers to divide the whole market in to different parts to sell the products of company. A company would find it impossible to target the whole market, because of time, cost and effort limitations. It needs to have a proper segmentation to identify and target market with reasonable effort, cost and time (economic times, 2016). Planters nuts are adopting demographic segmentation to attract its customers. It is mainly segmenting on the youth who want taste and they are health conscious also.

 Target market refers to attracting the customers from different market. Target market is most important of marketing in which the research on consumer’s hobbies, tastes, interests and needs is done. Basically target market is the market where any company wants to sell its product and services including set of customers who are targeted (Lamb, 2012). Target market of the company is youth of countries who are between the ages of 15 to 35. Second target customers are the tourists who come in country from different areas. There are many advertisements to attract the tourist. Planters nuts also targets those customers who live ‘on the go’ lifestyle, who are health conscious and who values convenience and American iconography.

Positioning is also a crucial part for determining the success or failure of the company. HSBC has establishes itself as a successful brand among the customers (Ries, 2001). In the case of positioning of Planters nuts, the company has introduced a unique icon named Mr. Peanut. By this icon, company has maintained its strong position in the market. The products of the company are guaranteed and premium quality. Company provides the mixture of convenience and tradition in its products. Undoubtedly, Planters positions itself as the natural and quality option for the target customers (Loc, 2012).

 

Recommendations for Brand Positioning

For strong brand positioning, company should focus on some area of product:

  • Company should extend the awareness of other brand products also such as planter’s almonds.
  • Company should focus on the natural process of peanut farming and harvesting.
  • Company should target to customers of all the age group such as adults age of 18-34 because they like the nuts as snacks, and customers age of 55-65 because they consider nuts as healthy and good source of energy.
  • The campaign of Nutmobile Tour should be expanded by the company.
  • Company should focus on almonds and pistachios with innovative “new nuts”.
  • To compete with the competitors, Planters Nuts has to make different strategy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it has been analyzed that Planters Nuts is a famous company. It is an established company, respected brand and has a great historical background. Mr. Peanut is the most popular and interesting icon introduced by the company. It played an important role in the sales of the nuts. The idea of Mr. Peanut was unique and different to attract the customers. Along with this, the analysis has revealed that Mr. Peanut has had an important effect on raising the status of peanuts in society. He brought a major change in American culture and the American society with his advertisements.

The main reason of decrement in the sales is that there no proper strategy related to target market and growth in product line. Company can retain its brand image and power by if it use strategies in a proper way. Planters are well known for high quality nuts. The problem was that the brand was more associated with peanuts. It should use almonds and pistachios in its products because in the market, there are high demands of these nuts also and competitors are earning profit by selling theses nuts with a creative way.

By the research of Kraft Foods, it has been concluded that Planters Nuts is the largest selling brand of nuts in the country but the sales is decreasing from few years. The company is targeting only one market segment. But, it should focus on more than one target market because nuts are not essentially for a particular age group. Everyone likes nuts as different perspective. The company should sell its product with the mixture of innovation and tradition. It would attract the customers and company will be able to maintain its brand name and loyalty towards customers. Along with this, company should communicate with its customers in a competitive product category by new and effective campaigns. By adopting these ways, Planters Nuts will be able to improve the current position of sales.

 

References 

Chernev, A., (2015), The Marketing Plan Handbook (4th), NY: Cerebellum Press

CSD Staff, (2015), Consumers Go Nuts for Healthy Snacks, accessed on 7th September 2016 from https://www.cstoredecisions.com/2015/04/02/consumers-go-nuts-for-healthy-snacks/

Economic times, (2016), Definition of 'Segmentation', accessed on 7th September 2016 from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/segmentation

Jenster, P. V., & Hussey, D., (2001), Company Analysis: Determining Strategic Capability, US: Wiley

Kraft Foods, (2013), Planters: History, accessed on 7th September 2016 from https://planters.com/history.aspx

Kraft Heinz, (2016), A platform for performance, accessed on 7th September 2016 from https://www.kraftheinzcompany.com/

Kraftfoods, (2016), MR. Peanut in the Spotlight accessed on 7th September 2016 from https://www.planters.com/mr-peanut

Lamb, C.W., (2012), Marketing (5th), Cengage Learning

Loc, S., (2012), Planters Peanuts national campaign, accessed on 7th September 2016 from https://issuu.com/sylvana347/docs/national_campaign

Magnesen, M., (2013), The Peanut Industry: A Marketing Path Forward, accessed on 7th September 2016 from https://www.peanut-shellers.org/pdf/2013presentations/markmagnesen.pdf

Martínez, P., (2012), The Consumer Mind: Brand Perception and the Implications for Marketers, USA: Kogan Page Ltd

Peñaloza, L., Toulouse, N., & Visconti, L. M., (2013), Marketing management: A cultural perspective, USA: Routledge

Porter, M.E., (1998), Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, Free Press

Ries, A., (2001), Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, India: Tata McGraw-Hill Education

Yu, D., (2016), Kraft brings Planters Peanuts to China’s competitive snacking nuts market, accessed on 7th September 2016 from https://www.bakeryandsnacks.com/Manufacturers/Kraft-brings-Planters-Peanuts-to-China-s-nut-market

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