The primary school-going children in Canberra and other towns provide a good market for food products. Food is often sold to the pupils through convenience stores that are located in close proximity to the schools or inside the schools. This project is dubbed ‘school meal’ and seeks to establish a network that will deliver a quality food product to pupils, beginning with schools around Canberra. Recent studies have established that there are increasing cases of child obesity that can be linked to the heavy marketing of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, which influences food consumption among the school-going children.
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There is agent need to provide nutritious products such as low sugar/ high fibre cereal meals such as rice and pasta noodles; reduced-fat dairy such as cheddar and ricotta; sandwiches and salads; soups; meat and other alternatives such as fish, legumes and eggs; and fruits and other fruit products. School meal will provide a core and healthy food product to primary school-going children at affordable prices. The school meal will be in the form of a pancake that will be coated with breadcrumbs with either minced beef or chicken sweetcorn (Philip & Keller 2009). The school meal product will be available in other outlets or will be sold in small shops located inside the primary schools.
The company seeks to achieve the following objectives within the first year of operation.
- To make school meal a model food product that provides core health needs for primary school-going children around Canberra.
- The company also seeks to generate profits beginning the first month of operations.
- The project also aims at maintaining a gross margin of 70 per cent.
Keys to success
- Colourful, well designed, and attractive small shops will be established inside the compounds of primary schools.
- The employees will be trained on the proper methods of food production, handling techniques.
- Appropriate marketing strategies will be used to attract and retain customers, and to ensure that the sale of high margin products is maximized.
The company will use all the available methods to ensure that its school meal product is of high quality to benefit pupils in Canberra primary schools. School meal will enhance the health status of its customers by providing core nutrient values that are required for proper development. The company will make use of its profits to expand in other areas and ensure high levels of employee satisfaction.
Branding and Packaging
The food product produced by the company will be referred to as ‘school meal’. The school meal will be available in two forms to ensure that pupils take what they prefer. The product will basically be composed of the following ingredients: sunflower oil, thyme leaves, whole wheat flour, fish/beef or chicken breast and salt (Chekitan & Schultze 2005). The different major components will be prepared separately and added to the wheat flour to make a pancake-like food product. The food product will be packaged as a store brand and will be distributed in the company’s outlets inside the schools or supplied to other distributors such as supermarkets.
The school meal will be packaged in bright yellow decorated boxes, one piece in each box. Each product will weigh approximately 500 grams and will be sufficient for one meal. The packaging of the product will be carried out while paying attention to the laid down rules on the packaging of food products. After preparation and packaging, the school meal product will be able to stay for about one to two days at room temperature. Frozen products will stay longer, for periods of up to one week. The product will be best served warm. Therefore the company’s shops located inside schools will be equipped with microwaves to warm the school meal for its customers (Mulcaster 2009).
Product life cycle
The school meal will be introduced into the Canberra market at the cost of 3 dollars. The market introduction stage will be done following well-coordinated marketing activities. The product will be expected to pick up within a month and is expected to be popular as it will provide a quality alternative to the predominantly available poor nutrient foods. The company will come with strategies to meet the growth in the demand for the product (Gamble & Thompson 2010).
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The school meal will be mainly sold in company-owned small shops located inside school compounds. The school meal will be sold alongside other products such as fresh fruit juice, milk and fruits. These products will be included to complement the school and also to provide the customers with a variety of choices (Mulcaster 2009).
Pricing of the product will be based on the ability to generate profit and still remain affordable for the target market. The pricing strategy employed will seek to position the school meal product as a healthy product that is affordable. The products will most likely retail at 3 dollars. A price that will still generate profit after deducting the cost of inventory, preparation, transportation, taxes, packaging and other miscellaneous costs. The company’s outlets will sell other products that can be complemented with the school meal in order to cut down on costs dedicated to the production of the school meal.
School meal will be produced at a central place within Canberra and will be distributed early in the morning to the company shops at various primary schools. The product will be distributed via delivery trucks that will move around dropping products at the outlets. In the initial phase, the sale of the school meal product will be restricted to the company’s outlets. However, following an increase in the demand and capacity to produce the product, mechanisms will be put in place to distribute the product to other outlets such as supermarkets (Chekitan & Schultze 2005). It’s important to note that the composition of the product will not restrict its consumption to school-going children.
Therefore the demand for the product may also grow in other market segments such as college and high school students. The company will position itself in a way it can increase the production and distribution capacity in response to increased demand for the school meal product. Other products to be sold in the company’s convenience stores will be purchased and distributed to the outlets alongside the school meal product (Mulcaster 2009).
The company shops will be designed colourfully to attract young targeted customers. The shop will provide a small sitting area where customers can relax and consume their delicious school meals. The staff at the outlets will be required to be fast, effective friendly to the different types of customers who will visit the outlets.
The school meal will be promoted through a variety of ways. Advertisements will be conducted on TV and radio to inform parents and pupils about the availability of a new nutritious food product that will be available in all primary schools, initially within Canberra. Outdoor advertising in the form of billboards and posters portraying pictures of the school meal will also be used to communicate to the target market. Online campaigns targeting parents and children will be carried out via social networking sites such as Facebook (Phillip & Keller 2009). The advertisements will be kin to inform the audience about the quality and health benefits of the school meal product. Apart from advertisement activities, a team will be formed to carry out sales promotions in schools to create awareness among students and teachers.
The product will be launched in January 2013 and will be expected to grow steadily in the subsequent months. The funding for the venture will come from two major sources: personal investments and bank loans.
Table1: Startup summary.
|Item||Cost in Australian dollars (AUD)|
The company will expect its profits to grow at a rate of around 20 per cent every month in the first six months. The first month is expected to bring in about 4000 dollars in profits; the second month will therefore be around 5600 dollars; the third 6720 dollars; fourth 8064 dollars; fifth, 9676; 8 dollars; and the sixth 11611.5 dollars.
Gamble, J. & Thompson, A 2010. Essentials of Strategic Management, University of Alabama, Alabama.
Chekitan, S & Schultze, D 2005. ‘In the Mix: A Customer-Focused Approach Can Bring the Current Marketing Mix into the 21st Century’ Marketing Management, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 12-15.
Mulcaster, W 2009. ‘Three Strategic Frameworks. Business Strategy Series’ , Vol.10, No.1, pp. 68-78.
Philip, K &Keller, L 2009. A Framework for Marketing Management, Pearson Prentice Hall, New York.