Granite City Food & Brewery Company’s Environment

General Environment

Political-legal Trend Analysis

In the US, the government’s regulations, taxation strategies, directives, norms of leadership, and employment regulations are highly flexible for business. The US is one of the most promising business places with remarkable expansion in the corporate world1. The food and beverage industry has taken advantage of the favorable American economic condition to expand its market niche. The stable political environment in the US has been a pull factor for the food and beverage products that are sold by the Granite City Food & Brewery since the purchasing power of many of its potential customers are high, especially for its food and brewery ventures.

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The legal system in the US is very stable and functions on the pillars of serving the interest of every business within the food and beverage industry equally. However, when carrying out business, the businesses should be packaged within the needs to comply with all the business laws and federal laws as well2. Being a tax compliant sector, the Granite City Food & Brewery has fulfilled its legal mandate as a business and have the freedom to do trade within the US. The dynamics of political and legal parameters of the food and beverage industry in the US are summarized in the table below.

Component Implication
Existing businesses within the US food and beverage industry Advantages
  1. The stable and safe working area that attract investments.
  2. Accessible and strategic position in markets.

Disadvantages

  1. High tax regime and cost of labor
  2. Many labor laws that make the market uncompetitive
Trade regulations Advantages
  1. Flexible trade regulations that are friendly
  2. Right and patent protection by the state
  3. Clear trade regulations that guarantee business sustainability when followed

Disadvantages

  1. The high cost of business registration and approval process
  2. The high cost of compliance, especially in terms of the labor regulations
  3. High fines in case of a slight default and such a company may even be suspended by the regulation authorities
Employment regulation Advantages
  1. All employment in any business should follow the labor rules which will guarantee the right for both laborers and the owners of the businesses within the food and beverage industry.
  2. The laws recognize and apply the security and flexibility in the labor market and respect of human dignity, honesty and trust, and respect. This promotes a holistic and high level of employee motivation.

Disadvantages

  1. The laws allow for a collective bargain in salaries and benefits. The process may be tedious and interruptive, especially when there are numerous legal employee strikes.
  2. Companies may pay hefty fines to cover simple disagreements, especially when the conflicts are handled through the court process.
Health and Safety regulations Advantages
  1. Following the legal rules on health and safety creates a safe environment for businesses within the food and beverage industry, such as the Granite City Food & Brewery to guarantee production sustainability.
  2. The laws provide and secure the health rights of the employees, thus, creating a general healthy work environment that promotes optimal performance.

Disadvantages

  1. Health insurance costs a lot, especially when a company has a large workforce as is the case with the Granite City Food & Brewery.
  2. Companies within the food and beverage industry may be forced to suspend production activities in case of a food-related disease outbreak.

From the above table, the following opportunities and threats were identified as having an influence in the Granite City Food & Brewer’s business environment in the US market, in terms of a political-legal parameter.

Opportunities

Legal factors are critical for the establishment and operations of the firm. The legal requirement in the US supports the establishment and growth of businesses within the food and beverage industry. As such, the Granite City Food & Brewery has the potential for further expansion since it complies with these legal requirements. Essentially, the legal environment is conducive and supports the growth and development of firms within the food and beverage industry, particularly businesses that adhere to the required regulations.

The provision of patent and trademark rights in the US has helped eliminate the chances of fraudulent attempts on a product to ensure that the company responsible for its creation or invention is not disadvantaged within the food and beverage industry. Therefore, the Granite City Food & Brewer could take up this as an assurance of the protection to be offered to their products against illegal dealers, even though the patent application process is very expensive in time and cost.

Political aspects are a predominant influencing factor in the management and operations within the US food and beverage industry because most of the products can be accessed through the traditional stores. However, in the US, particularly in Minnesota where the Granite City Food & Brewer business is located is enjoying both political and social stability as the rest of the US market3. Like any other industry or business, the Granite City Food & Brewer requires a politically stable environment to achieve its goals.

Fortunately, the Granite City Food & Brewer can expand further since the region in which it operates enjoys political stability. This means that the Granite City Food & Brewery and its competitors have the opportunity to expand their markets without the fear of political upheaval that might affect market penetration.

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The closer political stability relations in the US will provide the Granite City Food & Brewery and its competitors with the chance to operate in the enlarged economy following the US government’s policy of opening trade barriers as a policy for the last 100 years4. This is a good assurance for shareholders that their investment is safe and it is an incentive to them to add even more in the Granite City Food & Brewery.

The 2015 IMD world political environment competitiveness yearbook ranked the US in positions 2, which is a good indicator that its political stability offers a perfect environment for business activity. With continued political stability, the Granite City Food & Brewery and other players in the food and beverage industry in the US are poised to grow and expand as many investors are assured of safety if they decide to put their money into such ventures. There are no fears of political wars and uprisings that can affect the Granite City Food & Brewery’s business performance in the US.

Threats

The first challenge that faces business within the food and beverage industry in the US is the high cost of labor. Many labor laws such as minimum wage make the market uncompetitive. Besides, the cost of business registration and approval process is relatively high because of compliancy requirements that might not auger well with a small company. This means that the high cost of compliance, especially in terms of the labor regulations and high fines in case of a slight default has serious effects on business sustainability within the US environment, especially in the sensitive food and beverage industry where the Granite City Food & Brewery operates. Besides, the laws allow for a collective bargain in salaries and benefits.

The process may be tedious and interruptive, especially when there are numerous legal employee strikes. Companies may pay hefty fines to cover simple disagreements, especially when the conflicts are handled through the court process.

This means that the legal outcome is very unpredictable and may attract heavy costs on the side of companies operating within the food and beverage industry. Moreover, health insurance costs a lot, especially when a company has a large workforce as is the case with the Granite City Food & Brewery. Also, these companies may be forced to suspend their production activities in case of a food-related disease outbreak. The legal threats are very high in the food and processing industry and the Granite City Food & Brewery has to ensure that it operates within all business laws in place.

Socio-Cultural Trend Analysis

Many social issues affect the food and beverage industry where the Granite City Food & Brewer operates. However, the Granite City Food & Brewer has aligned its products with the target market needs including age and culture. The most important social factor influencing the industry is culture. However, the products of the Granite City Food & Brewer are aligned with the socio-cultural needs of customers.

In the US for instance, the socio-cultural setting is such that customers are very sensitive about what they eat and drink as the campaign for healthy living has reached its peak5. Therefore, the Granite City Food & Brewery has invested in areas where socio-cultural factors promote its business to survive the turbulence in the market that are related to socio-cultural norms. This summarized in table 1 below.

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Component Implication
Population demographics Advantage:
  1. Changes in the arrangement of a population will affect the demand and supply of goods and services within the food and beverage industry
  2. An increase in the population demographics will lead to calls for greater food and beverage services that meet the healthy living standards

Disadvantage:

  1. If the Granite City Food & Brewer do not respond to changes in population it might lead to losing market share and demand for their product or service.
Changing in lifestyle trends Advantage
  1. Changes in lifestyle trends will affect the supply and demand of goods and services that the Granite City Food & Brewery and other competitors are supplying within the food and beverage industry.
  2. The Granite City Food & Brewer is following healthy living changes in lifestyle and it will help it to reach customer satisfaction.

Disadvantage

  1. The Granite City Food & Brewer must be able to offer products and services that seek and benefit changing people’s lifestyles and behavior. If the company does not respond to changes, the business might experience slow market growth and eventual reduction in market share and demand for the Granite City Food & Brewer’s products or services.

From the above table, the following opportunities and threats were identified as having an influence in the Granite City Food & Brewer’s business environment in the US market, in terms of a socio-cultural parameter.

Opportunities

Manners and customs have an impact on local business since the market is made up of the Americans and other immigrants. The differences in mannerism especially in talking and observance of the different holy days may result in sharp differences between groups or simply have an impact on the choice of business partners. Therefore, the Granite City Food & Brewery is always on the front line in redefining its social aspect of business in the US market to minimize the possibility of product rejection6. Besides, Granite City Food & Brewery has to create a flexible employee engagement model that gives its employees time to celebrate special days to ensure that the locals embrace the company as friendly.

The second broad area of focus would be the suitability of the political arena for business. This will include the evaluation of the country’s history and present status of the political environment and its influences on the business cycles of a region7. Stable and peaceful political environments create room for the healthy interactions of the trade activities while unstable political situations would mean the inverse of that. It is for this reason that the Granite City Food & Brewer should widely invest in the US because of socio-cultural stability.

To begin with, the ideological orientation of the persons of that region in terms of awareness through the freedom of communication or otherwise forms of personal rights administration may influence the performance of different products in an economy. For instance, in a country that freedom of expression is allowed, and is independent for that matter such as in the US, there is the possibility of the general public getting to hear detailed information on products.

Specifically, in the US, freedom of speech is exercised within the controlled boundaries enabling the Granite City Food & Brewery to practice media advertisement in these boundaries. Also, the political environment is the government’s involvement in the business activities of a country. The extent to which the government is seen to intervene in the economic environments could deter the development capacities of the businesses involved.

If this involvement is without the constitutional boundaries, the government may seek to entirely extort foreign investors to its gain. This could be through unfair hiking of tax rates, unreasonable maximum price controls, and the rights issues of the office-bearers. All of the above is certainly going to impact negatively on the urge to economically associate with a given country. In this case study, at present, the US being a democratic country does not depict any of the above economic vices. This could be a substantial opportunity for Granite City Food & Brewery to widen invests in this country.

The attitude and treatment shown to foreign investors could be a reason enough to bar investors from ever investing in a given region if poor. A good government seeking to establish a good working partnership with potential investors will seek to market its relationship-building techniques in the best way possible. However, if the contrary is done, the number of investors interested in associating with such a system will significantly reduce. In this meticulous case, the investors at hand have established that the US government as supportive in the development of not only its economy but also that of the foreign investors.

Thus, the Granite City Food & Brewery would have to exercise restraint in its interaction within the administration and available market to ensure that the business is delinked from social norms that might be detrimental in its business sustainability strategy8.

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For the social dimension of the evaluation of the US market for the products of the Granite City Food & Brewery and other competitors, the company must tailor its products to suit the acceptable cultural norms. This way, it is necessary for the marketer who is researching to evaluate the literacy levels of the US people. This includes the evaluation of the US education system and levels. Most importantly is to link the findings to the target market of the Granite City Food & Brewery products.

By doing this, the marketers will establish the level of awareness of the Americans, especially now that the products at stake deal with food and brewery products. Several questions may pop up during this feasibility study. Comprehensively, it would be necessary to establish how conversant the Americans are to technological advancements constantly changing across the global arena. The answers to this question could be relative as it depends on the country’s technological advancement. Research has it that the US though very populous, has a high percentage of the literate in its population. The US has a high number of literate young who would be consuming the products of the Granite City Food & Brewery.

The company could take this up as a business opportunity. The language used in the US is Basic English and comprehension would not be a deterring factor. The fact that the participants of the trade activity share a common language will facilitate the further expansion of the Granite City Food & Brewery across the US. The access to the market (exchange negotiations or otherwise) could be a factor that would influence the pattern of trade in the food and brewery industry in the US.

Threats

Media has emerged as an important tool to organizations and individuals in logistics management due to its ability to bridge the gap between producers and consumers in the business matrix within the food and beverage industry in the US. This is especially true for the written media which has widely been used by companies to draw the factors of production to guarantee sustainability in the short term and long term. Behaviors and attitudes of the Granite City Food & Brewery customers can be changed through media conditioning, especially when there is any negative review about the company.

Repetition of an act, for instance, through a constant attack of the Granite City Food & Brewery in such a case would lead to negative behavioral changes that might not be beneficial to the company. This indicates how the media can and may be used to reinforce negative consumer behaviors easily to negatively affect the sales of the Granite City Food & Brewery. However, the Granite City Food & Brewery has always created efficiency communication activities, which have led to doubled sales in the last decade since the products are branded and presented in persuasive ways that easily skew the minds of potential buyers.

For instance, the different contents of logistics management dealing with similar issues have had an accumulated impact on individual’s perception following the integration of social media as an important medium for relaying advertisements messages9. The messages are packaged to sell the Granite City Food & Brewery products as representing the American culture. When all other factors are held constant, the threat of changed preference as a result of media influence is very high in the food and beverage industry in the US, due to the sensitivity of the products that the Granite City Food & Brewery sells alongside its competitors.

In trying to ensure that the operations management strategy for the refurbished product is effective within the food and beverage industry in the US, there Is the challenge of sustainability, especially in the dynamic market since the majority of the targeted customers in this country can easily change their preference as a result of the introduction of products that they feel are more culturally appealing10.

This means that it may not be easy to create a sustainable communication plan for the Granite City Food & Brewery brand and that of its competitors since the many customers have a tendency to switch to the trending brand11. the key preconditions that may emerge in implementing a dynamic and even trending product within the food and beverage industry in the US are the possibility of creating a long-term commitment in operations efficiency beyond five years dedicated to a marketing plan.

For instance, if the Granite City Food & Brewery does not remodel its product messages to be constantly appealing to the trends in the US, it may not remain responsive to societal changes that can accommodate the possibility of brand amalgamation in the long-run12. However, this threat is minimal since the Granite City Food & Brewery has created a strong brand name and is often associated with quality in the US.

As mankind continues to socialize, the need to ensure continuity and interaction has created a series of ties that have made the process continues across the globe, especially towards product acceptance. In the dynamic food and beverage industry in the US, the interaction has become an instrumental part of exchanging ideas through hospitality, cultural events, and festivals as customers interact with different food and beverage products13.

The benefits of the interaction process have expanded as the interaction level become global due to shared values and cultural exchange via product consumption. This social media advertisement application (television) is capable of reaching the audience targeted, irrespective of the distance involved. Besides, visual media messages have become effective in passing information to the audience while enabling companies to track information flow and other dynamics of encoding and decoding messages.

Therefore, when effective messaging, planning, and general objectivity aspects are not observed, it is impossible to implement different messaging strategies without any hitch to appeal directly to the culturally diverse society in the US. This means that the Granite City Food & Brewery and its competitors operating the dynamic and culturally diverse food and beverage industry in the US has to be careful in their promotional strategies.

These strategies should avoid gender, political, social, and other aspects of confrontations with activists. It is very difficult within the 21st century in the US to create advertisements and promotional messages that appeal to everyone. Therefore, if the Granite City Food & Brewery makes a mistake of creating an advertisement message that does not appeal to a section of this population, it might suffer the consequence of reduced market share, especially when the message leads to product boycott.

Bibliography

Appadurai, Arjun. “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy.” Public Culture 7, no. 2 (1990): 1-24.

Blanchard, Margret. History of the Mass Media in the United States. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Bly, Van der. “Globalization and the Rise of One Heterogeneous World Culture: A Micro Perspective of a Global Village.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology, no. 48 (2007): 457-469.

Henretta, James, Rebecca Edwards, and Robert Self. America: A Concise History, Volume Two: Since 1865. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012.

Loewe, Markus, Jonas Blume, and Johanna Speer. “How Favoritism Affects the Business Climate: Empirical Evidence from Jordan.” The Middle East Journal 58, no. 4 (2008): 259-276.

Newman, Kathy. Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947. California: University of California Press, 2011.

Parish, Peter. Reader’s Guide to American History. New York: Routledge.

Rong, Thomas. Consumer Behavior. Taipei: Wu-Nan Book Co. Ltd, 2009.

Sivulka, Juliann. Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising. Alabama: Cengage Learning, 2011.

Sloan, David. Perspectives on Mass Communication History. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Solomon, Mason. Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being. Madison: Prentice Hall Higher Education, 2009.

Sweetman, Paul, and Knowles Caroline. Picturing the Social Landscape: Visual Methods in the Sociological Imagination. New York: Routledge, 2010.

Winchester, Mayon. “Positive and negative brand beliefs and brand defection/uptake,” European Journal of Marketing 42, no. 6 (2009): 553-570.

Footnotes

  1. Peter Parish, Reader’s Guide to American History (New York: Routledge, 2013), 125-150.
  2. James Henretta, Rebecca Edwards and Robert Self, America: A Concise History, Volume Two: Since 1865 (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012) 45-67.
  3. Margret Blanchard, History of the Mass Media in the United States (New York: Routledge, 2013) 55-56.
  4. David Sloan, Perspectives on Mass Communication History (New York: Routledge, 2013) 230-241.
  5. Appadurai, Arjun. “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy.” Public Culture 7, no. 2 (1990): 18.
  6. Bly, Van der. “Globalization and the Rise of One Heterogeneous World Culture: A Micro Perspective of a Global Village.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology, no. 48 (2007): 469.
  7. Markus Loewe, Jonas Blume, Johanna Speer. 2008. “How Favoritism Affects the Business Climate: Empirical Evidence from Jordan.” The Middle East Journal 58, no. 4 (2008): 257.
  8. Mason Solomon, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being (Madison: Prentice Hall Higher Education, 2009) 16-45.
  9. Sweetman, Paul, and Knowles Caroline, Picturing the Social Landscape: Visual Methods in the Sociological Imagination (New York: Routledge, 2010) 45-47.
  10. Juliann Sivulka, Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising (Alabama: Cengage Learning, 2011), 117-243.
  11. Thomas Rong, Consumer Behavior (Taipei: Wu-Nan Book Co. Ltd, 2009.), 21-56.
  12. Kathy Newman, Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 (California: University of California Press, 2011), 137-150.
  13. Mayon Winchester. “Positive and negative brand beliefs and brand defection/uptake,” European Journal of Marketing 42, no. 6 (2009): 559.
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