Nowadays our society is shifting dramatically to a more conscious and healthier lifestyle. This has had a direct effect on a range of businesses to increase profitability and their success; businesses like gyms, specialized nutrition shops, businesses related to cosmetics, clothing brands, and a whole new range of organic and “healthy” foods products and companies. The report “Food consumption trend and drivers” mentions “Throughout the world, major shifts in dietary patterns are occurring, even in the consumption of basic staples towards more diversified diets” (Kearney, 2010). The people who are changing tend to include supplements in their diets to help them achieve better performances or feeling more active in a specific way. Ginseng is one of the more commonly used herb and presents between the long lists of dietary supplements. People of all ages use it in many different ways and to obtain different results that make it a polyvalent ingredient that has gained a spot in the UK consumer of nutritional supplements.
During the summer of 2013, while visiting Thailand, I was able to find a new product made from wild ginseng, to date has only been found in Thailand due to a lack of promotion and international business knowledge on the side of the creator of the formula for this product. As a global manager student, I thought that this product might be very good in the UK market as I knew that a lot of people use regular ginseng on daily basis and might benefit from this product that seemed to give better results than the ones from the normal ginseng. The product is 100% natural; second, it is a product that works and has visible effects in a matter of weeks, many studies have concluded that ginseng is vital for the overall well-being of a person. It has been reported that in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 36 individuals which were newly diabetes diagnosed, the 8 weeks daily use of ginseng 200 mg has reported betterment in well-being, mood, energy level and in overall psychophysical performance of the individual. There are many existing products that claim to do the same effects, but none is made with the same natural composition. Moreover, therefore, it is a new unique product that could can make a good impression if introduced in the UK market.
This led me to the question what are the marketing activities needed to create consumer awareness between traditional ginseng from wild ginseng in the UK market? The reason for this question is to find out about the consumption of ginseng within the UK, as well as which products are more used and/or successful and to see whether what marketing activities would be needed to successfully introduce the wild ginseng to the market as a good substitute for any ginseng product currently marketed in the dietary supplement market in the UK.
The aim of the research is based on the central idea which revolves around the complete study of the research. In a similar way, this fundamental study has the aim as apparent and obvious from the main title of the study. Therefore, the objective of the study is to conduct research on introducing a new product in the dietary supplement market in the United Kingdom.
With the aim of the research study stated above, the below mentioned are the objectives that are set forth to direct the research:
According to a report from the NHS on supplements, dietary supplements are consumed products that intend to give additional nutrients that the individual might be missing or isn’t consumed in big enough quantities (NHS, 2011). The supplements used to be only minerals or vitamins, but nowadays amino acids, enzymes, fiber, fatty acids and herbs have been included. These can be found in pharmacies, health stores, and supermarkets and purchased over the Internet, of course.
Some supplements are classified, regulated and treated like medicines because of the active ingredient in them and the effects that have been broadcasted before. On the other hand, many supplements are classified as foods and are, therefore, covered by the FSA (Food Safety Act.) and don’t have to follow all the regulations that other medicines have to. (NHS, 2011)
The dietary industry suffered a low moment at the beginning of the economic crisis during 2006-2008 according to the retail chemists and drugstore report done by researcher Key Note in 2010. Consequently, the NHS report on supplements says that since 2009 the market has been witnessing a growth and that it totaled £674.6 million, which implies a growth of 16% over the past five years. (NHS, 2011)
Out of the total of the market, ginseng related products only represent £8.3 million and the market leaders are products related with multivitamins and fish oils, worth £138.6 and £139.1 million respectively (refer to fig 1 in appendix). The products that have a market share similar to those of ginseng are ginkgo biloba related products, vitamin E and eye health supplements. The industry reports say that the growth is due to a more health conscious public and easier availability due to the increase of retailers and the internet; furthermore, the sales are headed by the increasing ageing population of the UK (65 and older) which represents a 15% of the market. (NHS, 2011)
According to a study done by the Food Standards Agency, almost a third of the UK population takes some vitamin, dietary supplement or mineral. The market data shows that the most common reason for the use of this kind of products is wellbeing with a 36% of the sales of supplements in the year 2009 (refer to fig 2 in appendix). The other four main targets that people face when taking this product are heart health, immune system, bone health and joint function. (NHS, 2011)
Only by looking at Boots and GNC, two of the biggest high street retailers for dietary supplements in the UK, there are a variety of more than 75 different ginseng products or products that contain ginseng and more than 40 different brands. (Boots.com and GNC.co.uk)
The MHRA is the entity entitled to issue and delivers the licenses and regulates the medical product in the UK; it stands for Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. When a new dietary product wants to enter the market, it first needs to see how it will be classified in order to determine what kind of regulations will apply to the product. Such as, the previous testing of the product and the claims that it can state.
Some products like food supplements or cosmetics are sometimes difficult to distinguish between medicines and are called by the MHRA “borderline products”. Borderline products usually come in the form of toilet preparation, disinfectants, food or beverages and are, therefore, subject to the food safety and labeling conditions stated by the EU legislation. (MHRA, 2014)
However, if any of the products stated above have pharmacologically active substances and/or make medicinal claims such as to treat or prevent a disease, it would be then classified as a medicinal product and would have then to deal with the control for medicines. (MHRA, 2014)
The Food Supplements Directive has the intention to include maximum and minimum levels in the food supplements for minerals and vitamins found within them. They believe that the principles of all food law are that the products should not be misleading or unsafe for consumption. The legislation for food supplements is the EC Food Supplements Directive, implemented by the Food Supplements Regulations in 2003 in the UK. Furthermore on this matter in December 2014 the Food Information for Consumers Regulation will come into effect, which will affect the labeling regulations for the whole EU.
Related to the above, we have an example of Holland & Barrett in 2010 where numerous health claims were challenged due to making medicinal claims on supplements and other products that were not classified as medical. Some examples are “whether a valerian could help to get natural sleep” another one was “whether bilberry could improve the blood flow and delivery of oxygen to the eyes” (Starling, 2010), and the list goes on to more than 15 only in this occasion, which helps support the reason why a new regulation is coming in place at the end of December of this year.
Evidence gathered by LIVA shows that in the general aspects of the benefits that common and wild ginseng share, the latter one is more effective due to its composition. This information might lack further backup but, at the same time, the NHS mentions the fact that neither the common ginseng benefits from conclusive evidence for the extent of its action. (Refer to figs 3 and 4 in appendix)
The study that determines when, how, where and why people buy or not buy a product is called consumer behavior. Rose (2012) mentions that consumer behavior is influenced by several market mix factors like locality, family, social class, culture and subculture, lifestyle, and past experiences and it draws upon sociology, economics, social anthropology and psychology in an attempt to understand buyer decision-making process for both groups and individuals. Also, it studies the behavioral variables of individuals as well as demographics and tries to give an estimate of the influences on the consumer from groups. (V.Rose, 2012)
Brand awareness is important in any market; it is the first step to brand building. The need of a brand name is very important, that will tell what the product stands for, to identify what are you about, which market are you in or what your product is and why is it different. For some businesses, depending on where they are based and what they sell, it will be easier or harder to create that brand awareness but it is important to choose what brand awareness is the business going to pursue, according to (Kapferer, 2008) they can be “top of mind, spontaneous or aided or prompted”.
For the promotion and marketing of supplementary products, it is important to focus on the end user that the consumer of the supplementary. Hence by setting the target market, the need of advertising arises and for that it is significant to study the consumer attitudes and behavioral intentions. According to (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1977) the consumers are more inclined to adopt and purchased the particular advertised brand if they posses positive sentiments and attitudes towards the marketing and advertising campaigns. With that some recent researchers have studied and stated that it is not necessary that the attitude of a consumer towards a brand or towards the ad is emblematic of the final choice of the consumer in the decision making. However, it has been seen that the intentions of the consumer and the final choice of the brand or product does not relate with each other (Biehal et al., 1992). The further research in the domain has also suggested that the attitude of the consumer and behavioral intension might be in a complex relationship than what it is originally believed (Biehal et al., 1992; Burton and Lichtenstein, 1988).
Branding has an integral role in the success of the products, the way the product is branded reflects on its sales and growth. The marketing gurus are agreed that there is a very strong relationship amidst the advertising of the brand and creating a brand value (Walgreen, 1995). It has an undeniable fact that the value of the brand is far beyond the brand awareness; brand value incorporates positive and favorable attitudes that incline towards the brand (Moore et al. 2002). For the advertising of medicines and dietary supplements, the advertisers have got a distinctive edge and opportunity to set a better brand positioning in the mind of the consumer by highlighting and presenting those benefits of the product that are positive, enticing and most desirable, this will target the need of the product in the market. Another important strategy that can be adopted by the organization to strengthen the brand is to expand the target market. This will help the organization to develop and strengthen the beliefs of the consumer about the benefits of the product and increase the value of the brand, for the accomplishment of the strategy branding and advertising acne be used as the most effective and efficient tool (Dunn and Davis, 2003).
This section of the paper will discuss a comprehensive set of measures for carrying out research based study on “Introducing a new product in the dietary supplement market in the United Kingdom”. The methodology of the research will lead it towards a systematic order and in a well-defined way. The section will discuss the grounds on which the choices of the research methods have been based, and the limitations attached with it. Also, the section will discuss the appropriateness of the data with the source and obstacles faced in the performing the task related with the section. The significance of a comprehensive and ample research methodology based on the undeniable fact that it develops the interest of the reader and keeps the focus of the reader toward the scope of the study. (Sekaran, 2006)
The research strategy represents a research plan, and a series of actions need to be conducted in order to acquire conceived goals and objectives. Hence for attaining the desired result the systematically designed research plan is created for establishing the scientific strategies. In conformance to the literature, research strategies are of two main types, either deductive or inductive in nature (Crabtree, 1992). Deductive research strategy is based on the studies that were previously developed whereas the inductive research strategy based on that measure that are carried out regularly by means of testing the given relationships. In this dissertation paper the “deductive research strategy” will be adopted to conduct the research.
After defining the strategy of the research, the next step is to decide the steps taken for the successful implementation of thee research. There are several methods for conducting the research; the basic research methods include “Qualitative research methods” and “Quantitative research methods”. Many researchers use both qualitative and quantitative methods to conduct the report. The quantitative research is based on the numerical study of the subject and based on the studies conducted on the facts and figure of the subject whereas the qualitative research is based on the previously done literature and qualitative text carrying comprehensive findings and in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. This paper on “Introducing a new product in the dietary supplements market in the UK” is based on a qualitative study and as well as a quantitative study.
In order to obtain the necessary data to be able to answer the purpose of the dissertation, the Porter’s five analyses of both current ginseng and wild ginseng will be conducted to determine their threats and opportunities within the UK market and be able to spot the differences. Also, an analysis of the dietary supplements market will be done in order to have a macroeconomic point of view on the market that sells ginseng related products.
Another part of the research process will include doing a study of the different points of sale of ginseng products in the UK to determine consumer behaviors as well as studying the brand awareness of the major sellers of ginseng products in the UK through a survey. Another survey will also be put in place to increase awareness of wild ginseng and its high benefits.
Compare the differences between the most commonly sold ginseng product, PANAX with the wild ginseng that wants to be introduced and see what points could be shared with the potential customers that might shift toward the wild ginseng.
Data collection is another significant area of the research study. Data collection helps in studying the relevant data needed to find a comprehensive conclusion of the report and fulfils the purpose of the study. The accuracy and precision of the data collection reflect in the results achieved in contrast with the preferred outcomes and results (Saunders, Thornhill, & Lewis, 2009). For this research paper, the data collection has been taken out by means of two different sources that include primary data sources and secondary data sources. These data sources have been further elaborated below.
The secondary data collected for any information and findings is referred to that data that were previously gathered in the past for any particular objective (Snieder and Larner, 2009). The sources from where the secondary data can be extracted include journal articles, books, institutional papers, newspaper and several other reliable sand authentic resources (Snieder and Larner, 2009). The secondary data collected for the dissertation is based on the authentic literature formulated on earlier studies in the domain of the subject.
The primary data for any subject matter is a set and collection of data, which is completely in raw form and have not been through with any scientifically proven procedures for the derivation of the information previously (Snieder and Larner, 2009). Primary data includes the very initial information that is firsthand knowledge gathered and taken directly from the relevant people or respondents keeping in mind the particular objective of the research (Snieder and Larner, 2009). The source of primary data includes questionnaires, observational analysis. For this dissertation study systematically designed and formulated, structured questionnaire is used as a tool for primary collection of the data.
The questionnaire is a tool designed for the collection data. Simply stating questionnaire is a based on the enquiring statements that require respondents to address the enquiry accordingly. The questionnaire is based on an open ended and closed ended enquiries. The open-ended question refers to the questions that provide respondents to address the enquiry from the given options only. Closed Ended type of questions enables the respondents to collect and analyze the data easily. However, it raises the concern about the provision of incorrect information by the respondent on not receiving the required option among the provided one. The open-ended questions, on the other hand, provide complete detailed information as respondents are allowed to detail the answer with convenience. However, it is faced with the limitation of difficulty in the assessment.
Population and Sampling:
For any study, it is important to set the population of the study and do the sampling of it. This involves a set of individuals and entities that comes under the area that is required to be evaluate in the research study (Bernand, 2011). Since we have limited time and resources, the study would not be able to include the entire population and hence the sample of the population would be taken to represent the entire population.
Discussion and Analysis
The underlying chapter is based on the discussion and analysis of the data collected for the study. The research is conducted on the basis of primary and secondary data collection. The primary data was collected using a questionnaire. Since taking the entire population in the consideration could not be done; hence, a sample study of 100 people has been conducted that represent the entire population. The chapter of discussion and analysis assessed in detail the review provided by the sample. Additionally, the review of the people was discussed in reference to the information collected in the secondary data which was developed in the literature review section. The reason of this analysis is to search about the expenditure of ginseng within the UK market.
The section of the chapter conduct, question-wise analysis for the information collected from the respondents.
Question # 1: Gender Information
The first question is based on the gender in which the male and female respondents are evaluated. The number of male respondents is 56 with 56% of the results. Moreover, the number of female respondents is 44 with 44% of the results. This in turn benefits the research with unbiased results towards any gender. Since, the product is to be offered to the both genders in general; therefore, mix set of respondents are important for developing the review the readiness of the people from both genders.
Question # 2: Age Statistics
The section question of the question enquired about the age factors of the respondent. Information about the age of the respondents is important in every market research. More specifically for the dietary supplements and introduction of a new product in any market, review of the age statistics of the respondents provided information about the future potential market.
The age bracket discussed in the case remained between the 16 to 65. The age bracket is randomly developed. However, it kept an idea about the minimum and maximum age to be considered. The ratios of the respondents are as follows: 15% for the age group of below 16, 12% for 16-32, 25% for 33-48, 25% for 49 to 65 and 23% for the age group of 65 and above. The results implied that people of middle as well as above middle age is the main market segment that is using dietary supplements. This provides a critical implication for the product and before introducing the product to the market. The implication of the consumer behavior was noted in the noted in the Rose (2012). Rose (2012) stated that consumer behavior is affected by wide range of factors, and these factors have implications on the consumer behavior in buying decision.
Question#3 : Do you categorize you self as a diet conscious person?
This third question of the study carries the responses of the respondents about their opinion of themselves being a health conscious person or not. More than half of the persons are diet conscious according to the survey. The ratio of diet conscious people is 55%, and those who are not conscious about diet are 12% and finally those who are conscious to some extent are 33%. As a matter of fact, the product under consideration and that directed the study has much to do with the health consciousness of the people. Moreover, in line with the information collected with the literature review that stated consumer behavior and purchase decision is affected by range of factors (Rose, 2012). Therefore, the higher number of health conscious people brings to limelight that people are more inclined to buy the product that supports in improving health well being.
After developing an introductory review from previous questions, the above question is the first enquiry that is directly related with the study. In this question, respondents are being asked about the perception of dietary supplements that it plays a major role in a person’s heath well-being or not. The response collected from the respondents is more than half which is 55% in the favor of the question and 19% is not in the favor of the question whereas 26% is in a favor to some extent. The results produced from the above data means that a wide majority of the people take dietary supplements as a positive product that plays an important role in improving the health of a person. Despite fact, the notable number of people around 81 of the total respondents had positive view about the product. There remains 19% of the people with the view that such supplements do not play an effective role in the health-related well being of the people taking such supplements. One of the potential reason for the view can be the claims that have been made challenging the claims of the supplements (Starling, 2010).
The above questions have considerable importance for the study. Its importance lies in the fact that it identifies the percentage of people taking dietary supplements; hence, identifying the potential market for the product to be introduced. The respondents are asked about the repetition of dietary supplements on a daily basis. It is collected with variety of responses, in which 25% are regular with each meal, 36% are with daily basis, and 26% are frequent and very little ratio of 13% of less frequency. A wide majority of the respondents takes the product with around 61 respondent has daily consumption. This also identifies the potential for the expansion of the market in UK. For instance, the frequent users can be converted into a regular user. The statistics were also reported in the NHS, (2011) as mentioned in the literature review section which stated that almost a third of the population takes dietary supplements. On the other hand, it is also notable that despite huge market size for the dietary supplements, market for Ginseng is comparatively low and offers much potential for growth.
The above questions ask Three reasons of having dietary supplements with the respondent’s views in which majority of respondents had no reason to take supplements while 27% are having because of health well-being and 27% are having for the medication combination. Wide majority of the respondent noted that there are other factors that drive the purchase decision of the dietary supplements. Some of the such factors were noted in the report of NHS (2011) such as, heart well being, immune system, bone health and joint related function. This implies that products offering association to such factors will induce the people to buy the dietary product. Hence, the Ginseng product can also capture the market for future.