The Challenge: Our client – a leading international producer of high quality dairy products – wanted to further develop its presence on the Bulgarian cheese market by entering new segments – white and yellow cheese.
These segments are highly competitive, consist of products consumed on daily basis and have very strong “made in Bulgaria” traditions. The planned survey had to serve as a basis for developing a marketing strategy for entering the Bulgarian market.
The Approach: In order to assess the opportunity to enter the cheese markets with an offer relevant to the Bulgarian consumer, we executed a three-stage study:
Stage I – Qualitative Overview: focus group discussions, designed to gather insights on the various cheese segments and the respective consumer habits, to match the existing client’s portfolio with the profile of the local market and to get primary taste and pack impressions of the developed products;
Stage II – Quantitative Exploration: nationally representative survey, modelled to quantify the insights from the qualitative stage, to assess the opportunity of entering the white and the yellow cheese segments and to investigate the awareness and the image of our client’s portfolio;
Stage III – Product & Package Test: quantitative study, aimed to measure the perceptions towards the actual products and to verify their performance in competitive context.
The Outcome: The research revealed Bulgarian consumers to distinguish clearly only three main cheese segments and to perceive the Bulgarian origin of the white and yellow cheeses for granted. Yet, the client brand demonstrated high potential for portfolio extension, enjoying very positive, even premium image among consumers, especially in the capital and the big cities. The challenges though were related to re-enforcing the brand image, establishing and justifying relevant price positioning and customizing the packaging design to fit the local traditions and expectations. On product level, the white cheese recipe was well liked, with minimal need of further adjustments.
Still, the yellow cheese product was found irrelevant for the local taste expectations and further elaboration was strongly recommended. Backed with the survey insights, we were also able to recommend the optimal price range and pack size, to model the taste profile of the ideal white and yellow cheeses and to established precise communication pillars for re-enforcing the image, the in-store presence and the visibility of the brand.
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