Anne-Maria Yritys´ master´s thesis (30 ECTS) was a study project aimed at creating new knowledge through conducting a market analysis for a large, global client within the food services industry. The theory was based upon previous research and literature within the global food sector, market data, knowledge management, strategic management together with a number of other relevant factors. The empirical part was conducted as a qualitative research project with in-depth interviews.
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This study is a case assignment for Organization A´s dehydrated culinary products and the topic is Out-of-home food market analysis Finland. The main objective of the study is to produce information and to transform it into knowledge and wisdom by analyzing the out-of-home food market in Finland. The topic arose as a request from Organization A since there is a need for detailed market analysis about the out-of-home food market in Finland in order to increase market share and estimate a future business development strategy with the help of the outcome of the study. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate how international business practices can be developed on saturated, competitive markets with the help of market analysis, knowledge management, and strategic management as tools.
This study consists of two main sections: literature review and an empirical study. In the literature review relevant theories are discussed and applied to the market analysis. The literature review begins with a knowledge management approach, continues with theories about strategy, and how these interrelate with the production of market information and are essential in the production of a market analysis. The empirical study was conducted through qualitative data collection by six in-depth interviews and a precise analysis of these interviews. Based on the information obtained through the in-depth interviews and the theory, conclusions and recommendations were made.
The findings revealed that since there is no common statistical databank for out-of-home food products, the analysis of an oligopolistic market is even more difficult. The findings also showed that the out-of-home food market in Finland is very end consumer oriented. In other words, wholesalers act in accordance to end consumers´ needs and requirements, and the same attitude is expected from suppliers who must co-operate closely with customers and develop recipes according to the market´s requirements. Organic food and close production are trends, but simultaneously the trade understands that not everything can be produced in Finland. Food additives should be minimized, and salt contents are expected to be kept as low as possible. Moreover, several product attributes such as packaging must be considered carefully. Price was regarded not to be the first decisive criteria. On the contrary, food safety, delivery reliability and correct labeling as well as multiple product usability were said to be more important.
Organization A ought to take advantage of its experience and size. It is highly recommended for the company to use a multinational approach with multi local attributes when conducting business on different markets. Since customers and consumers in Finland have certain requirements, Organization A´s products should be tailored to meet the individual market´s needs.
Out-of-home (OOH) food market analysis, dehydrated culinary products, knowledge management, strategic management