MDC: Research Tender - Dairy products with provenance

UK - Opportunities for new products exist, but currently it is difficult to identify where the gaps and matches are between consumer demand and supply of products. Research is needed, specifically related to dairy products, to identify opportunities for new dairy products with attributes relating to provenance. For ease of reference we will refer to the concept throughout this document as Dairy Products with Provenance (DPWP).
calendar icon 14 November 2006
clock icon 7 minute read

Background
The Milk Development Council (MDC) is a non-departmental public body established by the Agriculture Ministers following the re-organisation of the milk industry at the end of 1994. MDC is funded by a statutory levy on milk sold off farms in GB. It is run by a Council of 11 persons appointed by the Ministers, supported by staff based at the Cirencester office and in the field.

MDC’s aim is to provide the opportunities; insights and expertise that help dairy farmers improve their profits. Its activities focus on three distinct areas to achieve this:

• the opportunities that can add value to, increase demand for or arrest the decline of raw milk – the focus of our Market Development team
• the insight and knowledge that can increase power and aid better decision-making – the focus of our Datum economics team
• the efficiency, expertise and business-focus with which milk can be produced – the remit of our Farm Management team

The Market Development Department wishes to undertake a project to assess opportunities for dairy products differentiated by specific geographical provenance and other attributes associated with local, regional and authentic production.

Organisation Objectives – Market Development Team

There are clear indicators that shoppers and buyers are taking an increasing interest in the origin of their food. There is also evidence that when high quality produce is marketed with meaningful provenance, this leads to sales and increased margins when other key purchase drivers are satisfied.
Through research, the MDC wish to equip producers with the knowledge which will help them to determine a differentiation strategy relating to new product development. This will enable them to exploit potential opportunities in the market for dairy products.

The Challenge?

Opportunities for new products exist, but currently it is difficult to identify where the gaps and matches are between consumer demand and supply of products. Research is needed, specifically related to dairy products, to identify opportunities for new dairy products with attributes relating to provenance. For ease of reference we will refer to the concept throughout this document as Dairy Products with Provenance (DPWP).

The output from this research will be provided to levy payers allowing them to focus on the opportunities for added value dairy products highlighted within their chosen market.

It will also provide useful information for discussion with retailers and other industry stakeholders to identify opportunity ‘gaps’ and their relevance to different routes to market by region.

Research Objectives

1. To establish the level of customers awareness and understanding of terminology relating to provenance’ for example;

o How do they define ‘local’ produce
o How do they define ‘regional’ produce
o What products do they associate with traditional/speciality foods differentiated by region e.g. Cornish Clotted Cream
o What recollection do they have of any Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

2. To ascertain how important the following potential product attributes are in addition to basic qualities in influencing customer purchasing decisions for dairy products;

o Quality Assurance/Codes of Practice
o Environmental factors e.g.
�� Organic, Carbon Neutral, Food Miles
o Higher welfare standards e.g. Freedom Foods
o Traceable to farm
o Provenance
o Portraying attractive countryside
o Breed of cow e.g. Jersey
o Natural ingredients
o Sustainable agriculture
o Price point

3. To establish which of the following DPWP consumers and businesses would be interested in purchasing including the following;

o Milk products
o Fresh and Long-Life
o Flavoured Milk
o Milk based smoothies
o Yoghurt products
o Deserts
o Yoghurt-based smoothies
o Cheese
o Pre-packed
o Snacking
o Deli
o Butter
o Packs
o Portions
o Flavoured

NB – Should it prove difficult to provide examples in some geographies of existing DPWP, other fresh produce should be sited e.g. Kentish potatoes

4. To define the business and consumer segments and sub-segments to establish the prime target markets to aid with future tailored marketing strategies.

We anticipate a range of segmentation variables being applied, taking into account the findings from qualitative and quantitative findings from objectives 1 and 2.

Information Required

The output from the stated objectives will help the Market Development team;

�� Understand what consumers understand by the variety of terms relating to provenance
�� Identify the ideal mix of brand values for a range of DPWP
�� Obtain quantitative data to ascertain which products would be of particular interest to help determine focus for new product development
�� Assess who is most likely to buy DPWP
�� Decide where financial and staff resources are best targeted for future projects
�� Refine Phase 2 of this research project

Market Parameters

The research must be conducted with both consumer and business decision makers.
With reference to any geographic variables, we suggest that consideration is given to current geographic descriptors e.g. TV regions, regions identified by Food from Britain, Regional Development Agency remit areas, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Where quantitative methods are recommended, the size of the sample should be significant enough to generate a representative sample by geography, target consumer and business type.

Analysis Required

The ability to compare differences within geographical catchments between urban and rural consumers is essential.
Data relating to business responses must compare the findings by purchasing channels; therefore research should encompass different business types e.g. Major Retailers, Independents, Food Service, Farm Shops and Delis.

Deliverables / Requirements

The proposal will be read by the Marketing Manager – Added Value and the Marketing Director.
Subject to the proposed methodology, throughout the research project the MDC expect to have an input to any screening questionnaires, discussion/topic guides and proposed survey questions.
.When writing the final report consideration should be given to the final audience of the output document.
Special Considerations

The MDC is willing to consider a tender submission for this project from organizations with suitable expertise or experience. If you feel that your proposal would be enhanced by collaboration with other key organizations, the MDC would be pleased to consider this on

the basis of clear identification of the specialist skills/knowledge the collaborator would bring to the success of the project should you be successful.

The project contract will be on a fixed term, fixed price, basis with the assignment of all rights to the MDC.

Timing

Research Project
If the organisation is successful, we require work to commence immediately. To accommodate the Christmas break, we anticipate that desk research relating to the first objective will be completed within six weeks from the start date. The remainder of the research must be completed and the final report submitted by 16 March 2007.

Proposal Submission
Should you wish to submit a proposal, three hard copies and one electronic copy must be received no later than 5pm on Friday 24th November to The Marketing Manager - Added Value, Milk Development Council, Stroud Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6JN, ([email protected]) providing the following details. Any questions should also be directed to Amanda Ball.

1. Project title
2. Name of Project Leader
3. Organisation(s) and their expertise
4. Project summary (maximum 250 words)
5. Project duration
6. Project aim
7. Project objectives
8. A detailed description of research methodology
9. Key targets and date of achievement (milestones)
10. Proposed budget (to include breakdown of staffing, consumables, travel, equipment, overheads, sub-contracts or consultancy and miscellaneous costs).

Project staffing – please list the names and job titles of all staff that will be involved with the project and include a brief CV for each project team member outlining the experience that they have in line with their responsibility within the project.

The MDC will review tenders following the closing date, and may consult with interested parties as part of the selection process.

Following presentation of initial concepts, the MDC may seek further clarification of capabilities and methodologies to be used prior to arriving at a definitive decision.

Short-listed applicants may be requested to present their case to the selection panel at the MDC offices at Cirencester, though this will be decided on reviewing the tenders received.
Budget

These research objectives form part of a wider project which will continue well into 2007. It is anticipated the overall project will be in excess of £50,000. The budget for this phase will be taken from the overall project cost.

Should you feel that the MDC has omitted some aspect of this study limiting the value to the dairy farmer, please feel free to include it in the tender document, including it separately in the budget. The MDC will decide whether the additional detail adds real value to the project before agreeing to its inclusion.

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