Crafting a positioning strategy for the South African apple and pear industry to successfully compete against Chile in European supermarket business
Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.
The goal of the study was to identify the ideal positioning strategy for the South African Apple and Pear industry to successfully compete as a supplier against Chile in the European retail environment. The hypothesis of the study states that the ideal positioning strategy for South Africa is a combination between a Corporate and a Generic strategy. The Corporate strategy would focus on what wants to be achieved while the Generic strategy would focus on how it needs to be achieved. A strategy framework combining available corporate strategies with available Generic strategies identified 12 potential corporate/generic strategy combinations. The outcome of the study would be the selection of the combination most suited to take the South African Apple and Pear industry into the future. The research in this study included a full description of both the South African and Chilean industries discussing the physical, economic and political environment as well as the available human resources and industry structures. A thorough description of the European retail environment was followed by an external analysis identifying the key success factors required to successfully supply this market. The key success factors were used as the framework to do an internal situational analysis of the South African and Chilean industries. The internal situational analysis identified the key areas that South Africa needs to focus on to improve its competitive position against Chile in the European retail market. These key areas were pivotal in the selection of the optimal corporate / generic strategy combination. The outcome of the study identified a Market penetration strategy (Corporate strategy) through the use of a Differentiation (Generic strategy) as most suited to improve the competitiveness of the South African Apple and Pear industry. This strategy will grow demand and market share for South African apples and pears in the existing EU retail market for its existing product range by focusing on: 1. Improving the retail value and sales volume of SA apples and pears in the European retail market through: In-store promotional and media campaigns that will create awareness of South African apples and pears and SA Tourism as well as educate and communicate consumers about the attributes and different uses of SA apples and pears as well as SA Tourism opportunities. The identification of all South African apples and pears through on-pack branding by using the “South Africa, Alive with Possibility brand”. In-pack information booklets providing nutritional information and recipes for South African apples and pears. 2. Communication of real time supply information to European retailers and importers through: E-mailing retail buyers direct website links giving them access to the weekly South African Pome Fruit newsletters indicating crop estimates, weekly inspection volumes and shipment volumes per variety. 3. Active engagements with the SA government to gain their involvement and financial support for promotional activities in retail stores through: Active lobbying by industry representatives for the involvement of SA Tourism, the Department of Trade and Industry and the International Marketing Council in promotional campaigns where SA Apples and Pears are used as a vehicle to enhance the image of the South Africa amongst consumers, retailers and importers. 4. The active communication at an industry level to European retailers and importers about the South African Apple and Pear industry’s progress regarding the management of the carbon footprint of its products as well as the production of residue free fruit through. Yearly visits by industry representatives to European retailers and importers where South African progress reports in these areas are presented. The assessment highlighted that South Africa is relatively strong throughout the value chain activities but that the lack of a unified industry whereby its strengths are communicated to consumers, retailers and importers, has led to South Africa loosing market share to Chile.