The purpose of this memo is to identify an existing gap in the cereals market and hence postulate a new product concept that will fill that gap. It will be based on a previous observational research. Furthermore, it will identify the target market for the product and the kind of positioning that will be applicable for the product.
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This was a type of market research that utilized the personal observation technique. Here, products were observed in order to reveal patterns or particular challenges surrounding it. Secondly, the observation involved an analysis of package scrutiny of the shoppers so as to determine the importance of this aspect. It also involved an analysis of the time it took shoppers to make a particular decision so as to examine whether they were willing to try new brands or whether they were already certain about what they wanted upfront (Leven, 2009).
Relevant analysis or key findings that support and contraindicate my recommendation
Through the observational research, it was found that consumers were highly interested in the qualities or traits of the cereals as seen through their packaging scrutiny. Furthermore, they wanted products with health characteristics. They were interested in the prices of the commodities as well as their quantities. Some of them were also attracted to the packaging of the cereal. Consequently, this new product will be able to support all these qualities.
Characteristics of product’s target market – Description of product concept
The new product is a product line extension as it will combine previously existing ideas to create a new and exciting concept. It will be called Butter honey burst Cheerios and will be a combination of honey and buttery flavors. The buttery flavor in the cereal will not be obtained from any animal products as it will be strictly artificial. In other words, the company will utilize a chemical known as diacetyl which imitates the flavor of real butter.
The honey utilized in the product manufacture will curb the need to use more sugar and will therefore be ideal for those weight watchers. However, because honey is a natural sweetener then it will still make the product very tasty or appealing to the buyer. Therefore, the target market will be health conscious consumers who try to avoid use of more sugars in their diet.
On the other hand, it will be different from the findings in the research because it will provide a non dairy based alternative for strict vegetarians and lactose intolerant individuals. Therefore, the product will appeal to two new types of consumers i.e. those who are allergic to milk or dairy products in any shape or form and those who choose to consciously leave out this product because of their vegetarian beliefs. The new segments will therefore be vegetarians and lactose intolerant buyers.
The company will have considered their needs as well because some of them may want to enjoy the buttery flavor but are prevented from doing so because of their values or their physical ailments (Miller, nd). General Mills will be offering them an interesting alternative. It should be noted that although most consumers take their cereal with milk, others usually combine it with soy milk, almond milk or rice milk. Some may even choose to eat their cereals dry so it is likely that the product will work well within the market.
How the new cereal fits and does not fit the company’s current product mix
This idea will fit into the current company mix because the company already has numerous health based cereals that possess low cholesterol, low fat and are rich in vital minerals needed by the body. The company uses honey as a flavoring agent in other products in order to enhance the taste of some of those products.
This eventually minimizes the need for addition of sugar during consumption and is quite healthy. However, this new product will be different from existing product mixes because not only will the company be introducing a new flavor – which is butter – they will be doing it in a way that will not involve use of actual animal products. In other words, this kind of cereal will appeal to those strict vegetarians and will contain the sunflower symbol that is normally placed on many animal free products.
This means there will be a new target market that the company will appeal to and these are the vegetarians. Product packaging will be designed in a manner that will convey this new information. Underneath the name of the cereal, there will be a slogan “Dairy free butter for vegans”. There will be a sunflower that will be placed on packaging and this is internationally recognized as the Vegan society’s symbol. Also those allergic to milk will be incorporated as well.
Conclusion – Recommended steps for the company
General Mills now needs to start the new product extension. It will need to sort out manufacturing or operational issues involved; here, the company can obtain the new butter flavor from a flavor manufacturing firm. All other ingredients are already in place. The product packaging will need to convey this information through the slogan and also a picture of a slim lady carrying out a workout.
This will convey the information that it is ideal for weight watchers. General Mills should then embark on an advertising campaign that will let the new target consumers (vegans and lactose intolerant consumers) know that there is a non dairy alternative to butter for them.
Appendices -Idea list with all initial ideas, screening criteria, and stars to indicate best ideas
*Butter Honey Burst Cheerios
Pineapple Whole grain
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Pear Cinnamon Cheerios
Yogurt banana Burst
Cheerios chocolate burst
*Cheerios apple honey
Frosted fruity cheerios
Walnut and carrot
Chocolate burst cheerios
Strawberry deep Cheerios
Fruit vanilla Cheerios
*Butterscotch chocolate Cheerios
Citrus almond Cheerios
Pineapple Banana Burst Cheerios
Leven, M. (2009). Marketing: defined, explained and applied. London: Pearson Education.
Miller, J. Encyclopedia of human ecology. New York: ABC-CLIO.