Dutch Raw Milk Cheese Project Group 1

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Dutch Raw Milk Cheese Project supported by Slow FoodPart 1 International Market researchBy: Humeira Amini S1039234 Tessa Baas S1037305 Ewelina Kozowska - S1052006 Rick van Duursen - S1030511 Paul Connolly S1055220 Yannick Mulamba S1056091 Class: Teacher: Date: IBS2A Project group number 1 Mr. A.J. Janssens 30 January 2012

Dutch Raw Milk Cheese Project supported by Slow Food Part 1 International Market research

Executive summaryThis report was commissioned to examine the Belgian market and give recommendations to Slow Food Netherlands on how can they successfully support Dutch producers of raw milk cheese in marketing their products in Belgium. It provides analyses and evaluation of the Belgian market in the context of selling Dutch raw milk cheese. The macro analysis was done to examine the current country situation, important issues concerning raw milk cheese, cultural differences between Dutch and Belgians and other relevant dimensions like the image of Holland or Slow Food Organization in Belgium. To get more in depth of the problem a meso analysis was carried out. In this part the reader is confronted with problems like competitors of Dutch raw milk producers on the Belgian market, export barriers, possible consumer segments or distribution channels. Also cheese shops motivations for selling and consumers motivations for buying are examined as well as main publications or social participants researched. To develop a persona one most promising target group was chosen and its motivations for buying Dutch raw milk cheese described. Results of the macro analysis show that Belgium is strong and developed country with many market possibilities. It has problem with ageing population like almost every West European country but its largest population group 35-55 is actually most promising for buying raw milk cheese. Both Belgium and Netherlands are members of euro zone what makes trade between those countries even easier with the same currency and free movement of goods principle. There are also no serious issues concerning raw milk cheese in Belgium or its doesnt pose any stricter rules on its exporters than EU. The neighbourhood of the countries is an additional benefit as it reduces transportation costs. Cultural differences between Dutch and Belgians like Belgians being a culture with much stronger uncertainty avoidance can be actually an opportunity . Belgians pay more attention to quality and taste than price what is important in case of quite expensive product like raw milk cheese. The only drawback resulting from the differences is their choosing more local and well-known products. Dutch cheeses unfortunately are not very well-known in Belgium and its the result of French cultures influence in Belgium. French cheeses are being more often promoted in restaurants and supermarkets (which are often French-owned) than Dutch raw-milk ones. Slow Food in Belgium has ten local chapters and organizes several campaigns to involve people in slow food idea but by the look of their website and scarcity of information in media it can be judged that not many people know of their activity. The review of the meso dimension revealed that there are no important obstacles for exporting Dutch raw milk cheese to Belgium because its trade within EU which means without barriers. Indicated distribution channels include wholesalers like for example Jan DuPon Kaasimport which is Flemish direct importer of cheeses with its own distribution centre and logistics park. Beside that Dutch cheese can be sold to supermarkets like Colruyt or Carrefour which are popular chains in Belgium, specialized cheese shops and delicatessen, bio shops, markets and online. Main motivations for cheese shops to sell Dutch Raw Milk cheese revealed to be its high quality and unique taste what Belgian consumers value so much. This love to high quality and taste of food results in general positive attitude towards raw milk cheese. Research showed that many Belgians, 2

Dutch Raw Milk Cheese Project supported by Slow Food Part 1 International Market research

especially families, value it also for its health properties. Slight differences in consumption between regions occurred- Flemings consume more raw milk cheese than other Belgians. In the Walloon region raw milk cheese consumption meets the countries average but with this region being the poorest, the hygiene risks are a bigger concern. Based on those consumption habits and deeper analysis of Belgian society consumer segments are described according to region, age, lifestyle and other criteria. Unfortunately there appeared to be quite strong competition from local farmers and cheese makers that are so many in Belgium, especially in Wallonia where tradition of making cheese is highly developed. Main publications related to consumers and distribution channels seem to be just door to door magazines or reports published by consumer panels like Crioc or Nielsen. There are several big associations regarding the raw milk cheese market such as the BCZ-CBL and the UDCF-UZKK- which represents a large group of small scale producers protecting the artisanal cheese from extinction. Media such as Linkedin is often used to communicate between independent producers. The places of the meetings are also special events organized by European Farmhouse Cheese makers or trade fairs like Vitasana or Travola. Result of specifying consumer segments is in the last part identification of the target group and its reasons for buying Dutch raw milk cheese. Based on this target group is also persona characterized. The report exhibits that despite difficulties indicated like strong competition from local producers or cultural differences, Belgian market can be promising for Dutch raw milk producers. Those opportunities can be exploited by targeting the right consumer group which as suggested are Flanders inhabitants age 30-55, middle class or upper middle class, educated, consciuos about health and diet and making well-considered purchasing choices. It can be achieved also by choosing the right distribution channels as mentioned earlier and more brodaly decribed in the report. Best way of popularization Dutch raw milk cheese and this way increasing sales in country like Belgium is using social media and participating in trade fairs or events organized by cheese associations.

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Dutch Raw Milk Cheese Project supported by Slow Food Part 1 International Market research

Table of contentsIntroduction............................................................................................................................................. 5 Part A Macro............................................................................................................................................ 6 A.1. What are the relevant macro economical factors relevant to (raw milk) cheese in this country (Use DESTEP) .......................................................................................................................... 6 A.2. Raw milk cheese import regulations ....................................................................................... 7

A.3. Overview of the current main cheese / food production consumption related issues in Belgium ................................................................................................................................................ 9 A.4. Attitude towards (artisanal high quality) food in general ..................................................... 12

A.5. Find out cultural differences which could be relevant for the way to best promote raw milk cheese (Use the Hofstede model ) .................................................................................................... 13 A.6. What is the emotional image of Holland with respect to cheese with the target groups (Country of Origin image) .................................................................................................................. 15 A.7. How is the NGO Slow Food perceived in Belgium ................................................................ 15

Part B Meso ........................................................................................................................................... 17 B.1. B.2. B.3. Current export barriers with Dutch raw milk cheese farmers .............................................. 17 What are the consumer market segments for raw milk cheese ........................................... 19 Who are the competitors ...................................................................................................... 25

B.4. What distribution channels for raw milk cheese are available, (cheese shops, delicatessen, restaurants, cooking clubs, webshops) ............................................................................................. 28 B.5. B.6. B.7. What are the motivations for cheese shops to sell Dutch Raw Milk cheese ........................ 32 Consumers attitudes towards raw milk cheese, buying, shopping , cooking, eating .......... 32 What are the main publications relevant to the consumer or distribution channels........... 34

B.8. Are there any societal participants: media, platforms, networks, partnerships relevant to raw milk cheese (like the specialist cheese association SCA) ........................................................... 35 B.9. Where and how do the participants meet each other: events, online networks, social media 36

Part C Individual motivation for buying raw milk cheese ..................................................................... 38 C.1. Choose one promising potential consumer target group for Dutch raw milk cheese, describe motivations for buying........................................................................................................ 38 C.2. Develop a persona based on research .............................

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