As I mentioned in my last blog post, we have been noticing that the sales of a few of our specialist cheeses were decreasing and the problem is that although cheese has a long shelf life, it still is a perishable product and we don’t want to be left with lots of cheese that we have to throw away and make a loss on.
We were talking about it one evening and racking our brains to see what we could do about it. Matthew had the idea to revisit our business plan and it gave us an idea. We looked at the Marketing Mix section and investigated each of the 5 P’s – Product, Price, Promotion, Place and People (people refers to the staff and our levels of customers service).
We decided to select one of the cheeses and look at each of the 5 P’s in relation to it. We selected gruyére cheese, a hard swiss cheese to see if we could come up with any ideas.
In terms of people, our customer service isn’t any different with the gruyére than any other cheese so we discounted that for the time being.
Price – it hasn’t gone up in price and is a competitively priced cheese. Maybe we need to add value to it.
Place and Promotion – we decided we should promote it more within our shop.
As gruyére is a cheese that is great for baking and for melting – such as in fondues, french onion soup, quiches, cordon bleu amongst others.
We decided to prepare a recipe card that we would give out to targetted customers such as families who have children at home and are likely to bake. Other customers would be able to pick them up from a distribution point if they liked. We decided on a quiche recipe as it can be served hot or cold and makes great picnic food too.
Matthew hit on the idea to have a stand in the shop where we could have the other ingredients for the quiche available as well. According to mum, not many people are making their own pastry now so we could have some packets of readymade shortcrust pastry available as well as eggs, milk, bacon, mushrooms and of course, the gruyére and see if people are encouraged to make their own and buy more of our cheese.
100g lean bacon, chopped
100g Glebe Brehan Irish Gruyére cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
Little chopped parsley
Line an 8 inch flan tin with the shortcrust pastry. Chill in the fridge for 30 min.
Cook the chopped bacon and chopped mushroom until sauteed.
Bake the pastry for 10 minutes at 200C. Brush with the beaten egg and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes
Scatter the bacon and mushroom over the base. Cover with slices of the gruyere cheese. Beat together the eggs, milk and parsley and pour over the pastry case. Bake at 200C for another 30 minutes until well risen and golden.
Serve hot or cold with salad.
We hope that having selected our product, added value and convenience to it with a suggested recipe, that this will increase sales. Hopefully by promoting it in a particular area of the shop will draw attention to it too. Mum is going to come in to answer any questions on the baking of quiches and encourage them to buy the other food products too. Therefore, we are addressing the ‘People’ part of our 5 Ps in the Marketing Mix too
We’ll let you know how we get on next week!
Lesson – Always remember to revisit your business plan to give you ideas on how to address any problems that come up. You put a lot of work into your personalised business plan and it may well have forecast some problems you encounter.
Don’t forget to check out our The Cheese Mall website follow us on facebook and twitter. If you haven’t read our book yet on how we followed various marketing advice to start and launch our business, you can purchase it here as an ebook or as a paperback.