Since 1932, the owner of the Alpen brand, The Weetabix Food Company, has been manufacturing and supplying breakfast cereal products in Great Britain. Over the years, The Weetabix Food Company has placed some of its brands/products at number one positions in the markets in which it operates: Weetabix, Ready Brek and Alpen muesli. The Weetabix Food Company is manufacturer of a range of brands exported to more than eighty countries around the world: Crunchy Bran, Oatibix, Ready Brek, Seriously Oaty, Weetabix, Weetabix Disney, Weetaflakes, Weetos and Alpen.
In addition, The Company has factories in Great- Britain at Corby, Ashton under Lyne and Hastings. “At its head office and factory in Burton Latimer, the development and research division develop new cereals to meet changing customer needs. ” (“Industry’s best”, “Weetabix”, 2005, para. 8) This process has resulted in a reputation for producing food which is safe and of an excellent quality. Nowadays, The Weetabix Food Company is the second-largest cereal manufacturer in the United Kingdom with a 16% share of the market, valued at i?? 179 (_269) million. In the year 2003, the US
private equity group Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst acquired Weetabix Ltd. for “i?? 642 (_963) million”. (Breakfast Cereals – UK -, 2004, p. 33) The European branch of this company, Lion Capital LLP, has taken over Weetabix Ltd. when it split from its parent company in January of 2005. Weetabix is a profitable organisation. According to recent study of Mintel (2004) in 2004, the annual turnover of Weetabix was estimated to be around i?? 362 (_543) million including a higher pre-tax profit than expected of i?? 50. 6 million (_76), up14% on the previous year. (p. 33) 1. 1. 2 Alpen
In 1971, The Weetabix Food Company successfully launched the Swiss style muesli: Alpen in Great-Britain. Over the years, the Alpen range has been extended by new cereal products. By the highly competitive cereals market and the changing consumer trends in the year 2002, The Weetabix Food Company created a new product in the Alpen range: Alpen bar. Since the beginning of the launch of this new product, the cereal bars have been performing well in the British convenience market. In 2006, The Company presented its newest cereal bars in the Alpen range: Alpen Light bars.
According to Ken Wood, CEO of The Weetabix Food Company, “In reply to the hectic balance of work, Weetabix gives with its new Light bars an healthy option for today’s snacking culture as the cereal bars are not only tasty and nutritious, but also convenient. ” (The Weetabix Food Company, 2006, p. 2) The relationship between The Weetabix Food Company and Alpen is defined as the endorsed identity: “where the company externalises some activities with reference to the company name and/or allows – Promotion of Alpen cereal bars in The Netherlands subsidiaries to operate referring to that name; the characteristics of the company remain visible, but the identity of the various activities is put first.
” (Vos, 2001, p. 41) 1. 2 Performance 1. 2. 1 Sales & Market share Alpen performs well in the British snack market. According to global supplier of consumer, media and market research: Mintel (2004), in 2004, the Alpen brand has been estimated to be worth i?? 35 (_53) million; it accounted for 50% of branded muesli sales. (p. 27)
In this same year the Alpen bars have been enhanced by a number three position in the British cereal bar market with a 6.5% market share. “At 9. 7%, British household penetration is high and levels of repeat sales” are also well developed. (“Rising stars of cereal bars”, 2003, para. 3) 1. 2. 2 Costumer satisfaction From several reviews found on the internet one can conclude that 60% of all British consumers are satisfied with Alpen cereal bars. 1. 2. 3 Positioning “Positioning refers to the image of the product and brand in comparison to competitive products and brands. The position of the product or brand is the key factor to communicate the advantages that it offers and to distinguish from competition.
” (Belch, 2004, p. 65) 1. 2. 3. 1 – Brand image In order to attract the right target group, Alpen created a personality or image for its brand. “By employing geography in the brand name, Alpen creates a geographic personality for the product. Such a geographic personality can lead to geographic equity for the brand, meaning that in the consumer’s memory, the knowledge of the brand reflects a strong geographic association. ” (Schiffman, 2007, p. 135) “The Alpen branding has been successful in linking consumers with strong imagery of Alpen Mountains, representing freshness and outdoor wholesomeness. ”
Furthermore, the colors utilised on the packages of Alpen are principally the colors blue, white and green. Besides these three (main) colors, Alpen also uses the colour that represents the (main) ingredient manufactured in the specific cereal bar. For instance, the package of Alpen Strawberry & Yogurt has, besides the three main colours, the red colour as well, which represents the strawberry. The packages of the Alpen Light bars are using bright colors in order to emphasize it concerns a Light product.