these times of rapid change and intense competition, we're all
asking ourselves, "How do we grow our business profitably?" The
answer begins with an understanding of the consumer.
today have many more food choices than 20 years ago, and they're
more adventurous about trying new flavors, dishes, and ethnic
time-starved, stressed out, and not inclined to spend a lot of
still concerned about healthful food choices, but they're becoming
less rigid and focusing more on the positives.
using food as a way to be nice to themselves. That's great for
products already perceived as comfort foods, such as our mac 'n'
cheese and Jell-O. Or consider turkey and mashed potatoes,
drowning in rich gravy -- an indulgence you don't have to wait
for Thanksgiving to enjoy!
very much concerned with value -- with "what I get" versus "what
I pay," where "what I get" is a bundle of features and
as consumers get older, they eat some of the same foods but require
changes in others.
these conditions, there are three keys to success for the turkey
first: to provide value to the consumer.
shown you can do that. Products like turkey ham and bologna --
and turkey bacon, which we developed with your industry -- helped
boost demand and consumption. You've gone further, with MDT hot
dogs and bologna.
then was then; this is now. What are you going to do for the consumer
of the 90s? Adding value goes way beyond trimming more efficiently,
beyond achieving the lowest possible price-point and convincing
consumers that their food dollar goes farther with turkey -- important
as those are. It means thoroughly understanding consumers -- then
responding to their needs.
second key: profitably grow market share.
important to understand the positioning of turkey versus other
protein sources, so that you can develop new concepts and products,
keyed not only to continuing and emerging consumer trends, but
to your competitors' products as well.
is turkey -- and all the things that can be made from it -- superior
in responding to the consumer's need for nutrition, health, convenience,
ethnic variety, and so on? How does it play into trends like "convenience"
and "small indulgences"?
communicates the value you have to offer and thus helps grow market
share. But it's largely predicated on the difference between one
brand and another, on innovations created by marketers
to support, strengthen, and promote that brand.
a generic advertising effort can work. I think you're right
to target foodservice operators: research has shown that consumer-focused
generic advertising has sometimes had little or no success in
driving demand. And foodservice is a high-growth area.
the role that your advertising will play. It's not a matter
of overcoming the negatives. Turkey is still positively regarded
-- as healthful and relatively inexpensive -- by many consumers.
it's not productive to make negative comparisons. After all, turkey's
price advantages over red meat have largely disappeared, and its
health advantages have been somewhat offset by products like fat-free
ham and hot dogs.
focus on the positives. Communicate and reinforce turkey's natural
advantages. And try to be fresh and different from your competitors.
Promote your product in ways that they don't.
third key to success: low-cost production.
one promises big payoffs. Meat industry data show large differences
between low- and high-cost growout and processing operations,
and turkey is similar to other sectors.
your industry is highly competitive and costs are volatile, you
win by focusing on that part of the value chain where you're strongest.
Cost-cutting really is your strong suit, so you should
pursue it -- aggressively.
of us in must reexamine practically everything we do. And the
spirit with which we approach all this re-evaluation and change
is important. Are we going to resist change -- and change only
when we absolutely have to? Or are we going to welcome it -- and
manage it to our advantage?
future never just happens. It's created, sometimes by accident,
often by people acting consciously and seizing -- and generating
-- opportunities. And that happens not when we resist change --
but when we welcome it and manage it.
Thurow, the MIT economist, put it very succinctly: "A competitive
world has two possibilities for you. You can lose. Or, if you
want to win, you can change."
there's even more to it than winning. We can reinvent ourselves
-- and our companies. We become better, faster, smarter, stronger.
Each success lays the foundation for the next one.
process brings us personal and professional satisfaction -- and
makes our businesses as profitable and successful as we want them