1. Establish the goals of research that should be developed.
There are several goals of research that should be developed for Fettuccini S.A.. First of all, they need to properly analyze their current situation and know especially the Spanish consumer’s behaviour and expectations in order to adapt their product to the market’s demands. Also, they need to consider their potential new costumers. They also need to analyze their competition, get to know what products and at what price they are selling and what are the competitor’s weaknesses so that they can get strategic advantage out of their position.
The company has some experiences with selling whole grain pasta, but they need to test their new products, especially the new pasta product line since it is a fresh product. Fettuccini S.A. also needs to find out if they should open their own points of sales or if they should rather focus on distribution to existing shops. Finally, they need to establish a marketing strategy in order to know what kind of advertisement is the most suitable and effective for their business, and the way in which they want to transmit their messages.
As the company had problems with punctual delivery and their service in general before, it would definitely be necessary to investigate also about these two points. They are not acceptable and must be improved once the reasons for both of these weaknesses are figured out.
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Another problem which should be resolved by investigating within the company is the company’s structure itself; it is not efficient since the different departments are located in different areas of Spain. Such a decentralized management is not agile enough for a company of Fettuccini’s size and produces too high costs.
2. Through the Internet, conduct a research to determine the secondary market for fresh pasta and define the main competitors of our company.
The Fettuccini Company has already investigated on the secondary distribution of some new products such as freshly prepared pasta in order to diversify their offer, which was marketed in the fast-food restaurants of an accredited company in Madrid. Since the primary market for Fettuccini S.A. is the public administration, I would consider the following possible secondary private markets. An estimation of the world pasta production gives us an idea of the positioning of the Spanish pasta market. The estimated world pasta production in 2012 has been around 13.5 million tonnes, distributed as follows:
Spain has produced 252,208 tons and is ranked on the 13th position of the global pasta producers while number one, Italy, has produced 3,316,728 tons. As far as the pasta consumption is concerned, Italy dominates with 26.0 kg/ capita, while Spain only consumes 5.0 kg/ capita. Although the pasta market in Spain is not as huge as in Italy, there is still enough potential for successful production and distribution of pasta products.
The main competitors of Fettuccini S.A. come mainly from Italy and are companies like Buitoni with 22% of the market share, El Pavo, Rana or Gallo with a 10% of the total market share. Other smaller competitors could possibly be Gusti d’Italia S.R.L., EGO Internationl S.R.L. or Tomasicchio Giuseppe.
The secondary market for fresh pasta products in Spain is “on counter”, which would be through chains serving fresh products such as Nostrum, Fresco etc., and also the traditional restaurants serving fresh pasta. Another big secondary market for fresh pasta are supermarkets. Furthermore, specialized small shops selling food to take away for example should also be taken into account as potential customers. Delicatessen shops and restaurants can also be interesting partners for Fettuccini S.A. since both are offering high quality and exclusive fresh products. Another big secondary market are companies who offer catering or lunch service for their employees, and who might be interested in receiving daily fresh pasta dishes. The big opportunity for Fettuccini S.A. in this secondary market is that they produce in Spain, which means they should be able to deliver a lot faster and at a more competitive price.
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3. Define the qualitative technique that you will use and introduce a dash of qualitative questions.
In order to obtain data and useful information about what Fettuccini S.A. can expect from their potential market, get to know the preferences of their costumers and establish themselves in the market, they could use several qualitative techniques such as focus groups, triads, dyads, in-depth interviews, uninterrupted observation, bulletin boards, and ethnographic participation/observation.
But due to the problem that many of these techniques are not only expensive, but especially time-consuming and the responses might be difficult to interpret, Fettuccini S.A. should in my opinion work with focus groups and combine the results with the results obtained from observation in points of sales, for example.
Both for the focus groups and for the observations in points of sales, this could be combined with letting people taste the fresh pasta products and afterwards asking them specific questions.