Marketing & Strategy of A start-up Business

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Executive Summary

This business proposal discussed whether opening a snack bar based on campus will be a

success or not. The female students were identified as target group at first after a series of

market research. An in depth SWOT provides a general analysis of major internal and

external factors for the business to succeed in the long run; Key external factors include

seasonal sales, rivalry competitions, social trends; The main internal factors consist of

nutritional value, multi- flavors, low-price; And 4Ps model is used as a tool for strategic

planning by combing the core factors in the SWOT matrix to formulate strategy. The snack

bar's pricing strategy is to sell high-qualified frozen-yogurt and fresh smoothies at reasonable

price by applying self-serve concept. Besides, due to the seasonal issues, the products offered

will be some slight changes in winter and the location of the store will be chosen at

Sportspark to ensure the sales in summer peak season. However, the geographical location of

the snack bar results in the expansion of target customer group, from female students to the

people who have the demands for deliciously guilt-free treats. Combined with the overall

financial analysis, it is estimated that the annual profit is up to £100,000 a year.


A study (Brad. C, 2011) shows the eating habits of college students are far from healthy. High

frequency of skipping meals has become the main cause of lower fiber intake. The study

pointed out that college students these days don't have proper amount of fruits and vegetables;

and sometimes they even don't have one serving per day, way below the recommended five

daily servings. Moreover, both male and female students were consuming more than 30

percent of calories from fat. Looking at the eating environment on UEA campus, I found out

the snacks and lunch meals offered in convenience store are neither healthy nor delicious.

Although the campus kitchen is trying to provide the nutrition-balanced meal, the price is not

too friendly (usually cost £3.5-5).

In addition, it is also found out that yogurt, which is thought of as a healthy food by a lot of

people, is not healthy at all. The truth is that many of the most popular yogurt brands have

more sugar than a junk food (Katrin. S, 2007). A lot of so-called low fat yogurt sometimes is

just a marketing gimmick and is often high in sugar. In order to make yogurt more palatable,

nearly all big brands such as Yoplait and Dannon will put fruity-syrup into plain yogurt and

sneakily reveal how much of that added sugar. "For example, the average fruit-flavored

yogurt can contain close to 32 grams of sugar per 6-ounce serving." (Gurdal. T). Moreover,

apart from yogurt, a lot of artificial sweetness is also used in bottled juice. Take the

co-operative pure juice sold in the convenience store for example, it contains to be pure juice,

however "it contains just as much calories and sugar as sugary soft drinks and sometimes,

even more." (Mill. J and Sattar. N, 2014) Now an opportunity is given to start a business

based on UEA campus, so the idea of opening a healthy and cost-efficient snack bar by

providing frozen-yogurt without added sugar and fresh smoothies for college students is


Marketing Research

In order to find out if there is a demand for frozen-yogurt without added sugar and smoothies,

I did some research in the form of questionnaire (methods and questionnaire are both shown

in Appendix 1) by randomly interviewing 20 people based on data given by UEA annual

report 2012-2013. The result showed there is a positive demand (85%) from the students for

the products after being fully aware of the unhealthiness of yogurt and juice sold on campus.

It needs to be noticed that among those 85%(17 people), female students are up to 15, which

means female students is going to be the target customer. When asked about the price, 70% of

the students prefer the price below 3 pounds, and the other 30% think the price between 3-4 is

acceptable. In a word, there is a great demand for the fro-yo and smoothies on campus but

they must be affordable for college students.

Strategic Capabilities

To examine if the snack bar has the resources and competences to survive on UEA campus in

the long-term, SWOT analysis is conducted in Appendix 2 to explore the strategic capabilities

of business (Strengths and Weakness) and evaluated the environment (Opportunities and


It has shown that the strengths come from healthy and low-calorie value of the products.

There will be no additive sugar added in the products. The smoothies will be blended with

100% juice made with fresh fruit and the calories are quite low. According to the data

provided by Jamba Juice, which is a restaurant retailer whose core products are smoothies, the

average calories of smoothies is around 400 cal with serving size of 750g. The smoothies can

be a perfect substitute for meal to help people lose weight and stay healthy. A study (2013)

from the journal of Nutrition & Metabolism shows that people who drank about 1/2 cup of

unsweetened white grapefruit juice before every meal for 12 weeks lost 13 pounds and 2

inches off their waists; having sour juices can help them consume up to 30 percent fewer

calories a day; And the frozen yogurt, which combine the healthiness of yogurt and tastiness

of ice-cream, will be made as naturally fat- free as possible. Also, more creative flavors will

be developed to satisfy different people for different preference such as fruity ones for women

and alcohol-flavor for men.

The weakness results from less variety of offers. The core products of smoothies and

frozen-yogurt are not enough to become a sustainable advantage to compete in the future

since people are not nuts for such food. We need to create a buzz for the business for future


The opportunities stem from low rivalry in the chosen area and the low cost of opening one

fro-yo and smoothies business. Also, the public's growing concern of living and eating more

healthily has become the core competence of the business. The eating behavior has been

changed rapidly over the last decade. More and more people have realized the bad

consequence of eating junk food and try to have a more balanced lifestyle. However, despite

of the awareness, people always have the natural crave for fat and sweet food. No matter how

much they try to control that, sometimes people need indulgence. So it is all about healthy

treating to make people guilt-free. If they sit down and eat a tub of Haagen-Dazs, people feel

guilty, especially for girls. It has almost 800 calories for one tub. So the fro-yo is what gives

people indulgence without the worries to go to the gym or go on some crazy diet.

Seasonal issues will be the main threats. The situations of fewer students on campus during

the summer vacation and less sales of frozen yogurt in winter can be predicted. The threat

also arises from low switching costs for buyers. Furthermore, even though some people do get

aware of the harm of added sugar and junk food, they still don't care about that and just want

to have something cheap and delicious instead. How to change those buying behavior?


In order to define' where to go' and ' How to get there', marketing mix theory (aka 4ps) is

used for strategic planning to organize marketing activities in the target market.

The core products will be fresh smoothies and frozen yogurt with multi flavors. We will have

smoothies made with daily fresh fruit and multi-flavor frozen-yogurt with various toppings,

such as fruit and nuts that the customers will not be overwhelmed by the calories of

fro-yo. However, there will be a little change during winter. Instead of smoothies, fresh juice

is going to be offered. The flavor will be the same but no more ice. Frozen-yogurt is still

available but we are going to introduce new specific flavor during that time: alcohol-based

flavor such as brandy or wine flavor mixed with nuts. Moreover, traditional herbal tea with

the ingredient of rose, jasmine and lavender will be offered in accordance with the healthy

value of the business.

The price for smoothies or fruit juice will be differed depending on the serving size the

customers want, but the average price of smoothies will be less than 3 pounds. While for

frozen-yogurt, instead of putting a price tag on every different fro-yo product, we charge

customers by weight and the price will be universal, £ 1.5/100g. In that case, a customer can

pay the actual amount of frozen yogurt he wants and it is quite economical.

For location (Place), Appendix 3 shows a vast advantage to open the store in Sportspark

compared to the campus. For example, the threat like less target customers during peak season

can be eliminated since "Sportspark attracts 1.3million visit a year, including both students

and members of public". (Norwich Evening News 24. 2010). In addition, there is also a huge

market demand for deliciously guilt-free snacks for people who are into health kick and

exercise. The reachable healthy and diet-friendly treat is a good to way to satisfy the target

customers need.

The promotion of the products is all about distribution. First we are going to adopt self-serve

model for frozen-yogurt. There will be a lot of machines in the store where the various

options of flavors are offered. Customers are given choices of different size of containers and

they can serve themselves of any flavors and toppings available. The best part of this model is

that customers can mix up the flavors and they can control the amount of serving they want

without worrying the calories of intake. What's more, a fruit bar will be set near the counter

where customers can pick the ingredients they want for the smoothies so that they can feel the

healthy value we has delivered.

Brand Marketing

Providing good products for target customers in the right place is not enough to make a

business survive in the long- run. As discussed earlier, one threat of the business is that the

eating behavior of some people is so stubborn that they are not willing to try the

frozen-yogurt and smoothies. However, three laboratory-based intake studies (Wilcox. B,

Cantor. J, Dowrick. P, Kunkel. D, Linn. S and Palme. E, 2004) showed there is a correlation

between the eat behavior and food brands. Therefore if the amount of food exposure the UEA

students get is increased, maybe we can change the buying behavior of those 'stubborn'

students by branding. First, a recognizable image needs to be created. Then, we deliver the

superior value for the customers by creating the experience they like to achieve

mouth-to-mouth effect. All the target customers want is to keep healthy and fit when having a

delicious treat. Therefore, the calories and nutrition value of every product sold in store will

be shown on the menu board. Also, we will provide a fruit bar letting customers pick the fruit

and vegetables by themselves to ensure them every ingredient is fresh and healthy. What's

more, to highlight the healthy value of the products, some posters will be put on the campus

and Sportspark promoting the low-calories, nutritious image of the products by contrasting

the unhealthiness of flavored-yogurt and bottled juice.

Financial and Operational Summary

The only resource available now is the access to Sportspark building. Before the snack bar is

open, a general forecast of profits needs to be calculated first. According to entrepreneur

magazine, starting a frozen yogurt store can cost between $10,000 and $50,000 considering

the cost of rent and hiring employees, the cost of inventories and supplies. However, both

frozen-yogurt and smoothies are lucrative business. Take Pinkberry (a franchise of frozen

yogurt dessert restaurants) for example, the average shop in America attracts 1,500 customers

a day generating revenues of £170,000 a month. The total number students and staffs in UEA

are 18,310 and average daily visits at Sportspark are 3000 including 20% of the UEA students,

it is estimated that the snack bar should be able to attract at least 300 customers a day and the

cost of ingredients is comparatively low. And the employees wont be an issue since loads of

students in UEA will apply for the part-time job. Therefore, I expect the annual profit is up to

£100,000 a year.

Risks and Further Discussion

The frozen yogurt will not suffer the risk of high inventory levels since they are not easy to

spoil, whereas due to the perishability of the fruit, there might be an inventory issue for

smoothies. Therefore, maybe some trial operation can be adopted to see how many smoothies

will be consumed on a daily basis so that the amount of ingredient can be calculated. Besides,

it is quite debatable if the students on campus will still go to Sportspark for a treat since there

is still some distance between the campus and Sportspark. Without some personal experience,

I doubt UEA students will be motivated to go all the way to Sportspark for a healthy treat.


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Appendix 1


1. What is your gender?

a. Female b. Male

2. If you are full aware of the amount of sugar added in the yogurt and bottled juice sold in

the convenience store, would you still eat them?

a. Yes, I would. b. No, I wouldn't. c. Maybe I would occasionally.

3. If a snack bar open based on campus that sold low-calories, healthy and delicious

frozen-yogurt and fresh smoothies without added sugar, how often do you think you will

pay it a visit?

a. Once a week b. twice - three times a week c. more than three times.

4. What price do you think is acceptable for frozen-yogurt?

a. p<=2 b. 2<p<=3 c. 3<p<4 d. p>=4

5. What price do you think is acceptable for frozen-yogurt?

a. p<=2 b. 2<p<=3 c. 3<p<4 d. p>=4

Results and methods:

According to the UEA annual report 2012-2013, the proportion of male and female students is

41.25% and 58.75% respectively, of which there are 77.72% from EU and UK and 22.28% of

students come from overseas. Therefore, I randomly choose 16 female students (3 overseas

and 13 EU/ UK) and 4 male students (1 overseas and 3 EU/UK). Being full aware of the

unhealthiness of yogurt and juice sold on campus, they made their choices, 85% of the

students love the business idea and think they would totally go for the frozen yogurt and

fresh-squeezed juice if the business were open. For other 3 people who seemed not so

appealing to the business idea, when asked the reason, they thought they just don't care that

much about being healthy or not as long as the food is delicious. However, if the frozen

yogurt offered is below 2 pounds, which is a little bit higher than the yogurt sold in the

convenience store, they might consider buying the products occasionally. Those who loved

the business idea are also quite price-sensitive, 70% prefer the price below 3 pounds, and the

other 30% think the price between 3-4 is acceptable.

Appendix 2

SWOT Analysis

Internal S (Strength)

l Multi- flavor products

l Low- price

l Diet-friendly

l Convenience

W (Weakness)

l Isolated offers (just

smoothies and


l No brand effect

External O (Opportunity)

l Growing amount of

healthy conscious

l Lucrative Business with

high turnovers

l Low rivalry in the

chosen area

l The cost of opening one

snack bar is

comparatively low

T (Threat)

l Easy entrance of the


l Less sales in Winter

l Some people don't care

about being healthy and

they just want to have

something cheap and


Appendix 3

Comparisons between the location of UEA campus and Sportspark

Campus Sportspark

Target Customers Female Students Female Students and Sports Lover

Market Demand Comparatively small Big

Seasonal Issues Cannot Solve Solved