Calgene Case Study on how to change customer perceptions

Topics: Tomato, Genetic engineering, Genetically modified food Pages: 8 (1418 words) Published: August 26, 2011
CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR ASSIGNMENT

CALGENE CASE:

STRATEGY TO CHANGE PERCEPTION

INTRODUCTION

Tomatoes are currently a commodity product. Calgene is trying to bring in differentiation in a commodity market through a differentiated product using genetic modification methods. Calgene intended to market the genetically modified tomatoes under the brand name of Mac Gregor Tomatoes to end consumers and the seeds under the FLAVR SAVR brand to the farmers. As the first bioengineered produce to clear regulatory hurdles, the Flavr-Savr required governmental agencies to adapt their current standards to a new realm of food and agriculture and to consider how genetically altered foods fit into the United States regulatory scheme. The FLAVR SAVR story reveals how difficult it can be to bring genetically engineered products to market, how objections with little or no scientific merit can influence the outcome, and how important public opinion is in determining commercial success.

Reasons for creating the genetically modified tomato:

The reasons for creating genetically modified tomatoes were because of the potential advantages of genetically modified foods.

Currently, vegetables and fruits are not commercially cultivated merely for the local market, but are intended for shipping over long distances to nation-wide and international markets.

Ripe fruits and vegetables have soft skins and can easily be damaged during handling and processing. They can also rot in the time taken to ship and get them to the shops.

In order to ensure easier handling and longer shelf-life, vegetables and fruits are harvested when still green and then artificially ripened with ethylene gas. The drawback of doing so is that the artificially ripened fruits and vegetables do not have the taste and flavour of their naturally ripened counterparts.

A SWOT analysis for the company Calgene along with FLAVR SAVR Tomatoes is given below:

TABLE 1: SWOT ANALYSIS FOR CALGENE AND FLAVR SAVR TOMATOES

The consumer perceptions regarding the various attributes of the existing tomatoes and the attributes that Calgene hoped to better using FLAVR SAVR tomatoes in order to gain a competitive advantage are discussed in the table given below.

TABLE 2: PERCEPTIONS - REGULAR TOMATOES VS FLAVR SAVR

ATTRIBUTES

ARTIFICIALLY RIPENED TOMATOES

FLAVR SAVR TOMATOES

CUSTOMER PERCEPTION

TEXTURE

Soften as they ripen, hence mushy

Firm

Firmness is measure of freshness. Softer tomatoes are expected to be rotten.

COLOUR

Pale red

Redder

Redness measure of ripeness

TASTE AND FLAVOUR

Tasteless, Flavourless

Preserves original taste

People definitely want tastier tomatoes

FRESHNESS

Less fresh(more damage prone)

Fresh

Fresher implies healthier and preservation of nutritional contents

PULP CONTENT

Less Juicier(picked early)

Juicier

Juicier tomatoes are tastier and more flavourful

CHEMICAL TREATMENT

Treated with ethylene

Free from treatment

Preference for natural and organic foods

PRICE

Standardised

30-100 percent premium

Trade-off: Will customers be ready to pay premium for better taste?

RIPENING PROCESS

Artificially Ripened using ethylene

Naturally Ripened on the vine

Longer ripening gives more flavour

AVAILABILITY

Freely Available

Low; only in California and Mid west

People will not be ready to wait in case of commoditized products

RESISTANCE TO DAMAGE

Low

High

Easier to handle

SHELF LIFE

Less

More

More shelf life encourages bulk

NATURAL

Traditionally Grown

Genetically Modified

Consumers are concerned and conservative about GM foods, not readily accepted

STAKEHOLDER PERCEPTIONS

Eight stakeholder groups have been identified in this case and their individual perceptions are discussed in the figure below.

FIGURE 1: PERCEPTIONS OF STAKE HOLDERS

STRATEGY AND...

References: http://coolreferat.com/Business_Analysis_Essay_Research_Paper_Calgene_IncCalgene
http://articles.latimes.com/1990-02-26/business/fi-1071_1_plant-genetics/3
http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/140/ayoelson.html
http://www.brighthub.com/science/genetics/articles/27236.aspx
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