Organic Milk Green Marketing Observation and Portfolio Analysis
Consumers' interests in purchasing organic products should be carefully treated by producers, by retailers, and by marketers that develop strategies intended to increase consumption in these areas. Organic milk is an important market segment characterized by a sensitive product that requires producers to meet high standards regarding their production process. Green marketing strategies are intended to emphasize environment friendly practices, and not to deceive customers and mislead them into thinking such products address high eco-friendly standards when in fact they do not. This analysis focuses on organic milk and on whether or not it is efficiently green marketed by retailers.
The analysis of market trends reveals customers' increased interest in purchasing and using organic products. The advantages of organics rely on their apparent influence on individuals' health, although a study developed by British scientists did not find significant improvement produced by organic food products in comparison with products for which pesticides were used. In addition to this, certain customers also think of environmental protection when selecting the products they purchase. Marketers have identified these trends and develop their marketing plans in accordance with the opportunities they present. Companies' marketing plans rely on products' environmental influence when developing the promotional strategy.
Organic Milk Green Marketing Analysis
One of the most sought-after organic products is organic milk. The thought of purchasing and consuming organic milk from farms of animals fed naturally, with no additional supplements and no chemicals to improve their performance appeal largely to a certain customer segment interested in eating organics. The fact that supplements used in order to enrich regular milk can determine a series of product modifications that are not entirely beneficial to consumers determine more and more people to address organic milk instead.
The difference between regular and organic milk is not limited to their composition and effects on our health. Because organic milk has no additional supplements to extend its preserving, it must be consumed more rapidly in comparison with regular milk. This means that producers must sell it faster. All these increase producers' efforts, which are reflected in organic milk's price.
Another issue of great importance regarding organic milk is its promotion. If the organic quality of milk is not emphasized, its market success is not as satisfactory as producers would like it to be. Therefore, it is important that all of the marketing mix elements are developed in an integrative manner in order to build a green strategy for the product. The problem in this case is that some producers use green marketing as a means to promote qualities and certifications that their organic milk does not really have, deceiving consumers.
Green marketing refers to companies' ability to sell products that focus on the environmental benefits they provide (Ottman, 2011). This type of marketing was determined by people's need to protect forests, the ozone layer, and the natural environment. An increasing number of customers tend to purchase eco-friendly products because of their benefits. Such products can be environmentally friendly in themselves, or they can be produced or packaged in environmentally friendly ways (Shanley, 2002). Green marketing has an additional type of customer satisfaction in comparison with normal marketing strategies: it allows customers to gain satisfaction through the benefits and quality of products, but it also satisfies their need to contribute to improving environmental issues (Smith, 1998). This is mostly the case of bio-degradable, recycled, and eco-friendly products.
In addition to this, companies must invest in corporate social responsibility activities, as this seems to be an important factor that sometimes influences people's purchasing decision. In situations where different companies provide similar products at similar prices, it is more likely that customers will choose the company with intense corporate social responsibility actions. In certain countries, governments develop strict rules and regulations that determine companies to implement eco-friendly systems and processes (Winston & Mintu-Wimsatt, 2013). Green marketing also influences companies' costs.
Regarding the green marketing mix, it ensures that the 4 Ps follow environmental protection guidelines. Green products determine energy saving, intended to reduce the required resources level and pollution (Johnson, 2012). Green price refers to the fact that many customers would be willing to pay extra for increased product value (Ottman, 1998). Green placement refers to reducing the carbon footprint by reducing transport emanations. Green promotion refers to the product and the environment.
Organic Milk by Whole Foods Market Analysis
In order to determine how some of the companies use green marketing in relationship with organic milk, this analysis will focus on Whole Foods Market, and organic foods retailer. The organic foods supermarket chain has also developed an international business. The green marketing of Whole Foods has significantly contributed to its success.
Companies that have successfully implemented green practices have managed to reach this objective because they made it their mission (Conrad & Horowitz, 2010). In other words, they included their commitment towards green practices in their company mission. The importance of this fact relies on allowing all stakeholders align themselves with Whole Foods' values. The company's mission makes employees aware of what the company establishes as objectives, and identifies the general strategies that can be used in reaching them (Whole Foods Market, 2014). The company's mission also makes it public to customers that it intends to reach green standards. The green mission of Whole Foods is to address environmental stewardship by reducing the impact on the environment and its resources, reusing materials is possible, and recycling.
Green Marketing Mix Analysis
Whole Foods commercializes organic milk as 365 Organic Everyday Value Milk produced by the country's leading cooperative of organic farmers. Cows producing this organic milk are fed 100% certified organic feed, and receive no antibiotics or artificial growth hormones treatments. In addition to this, animals are pastured and allowed to express their natural behaviors in order not to develop stress.
Whole Foods' products such as organic milk are based on composting, which has reduced the company's landfill waste by 75% in certain regions. Most of company's stores are able to supplement its wind credit purchase with solar panels power (EPA, 2014). Each of these solar panels allows Whole Foods Produce and save more than 2.2 million kilowatt hours over 20 years, to benefit from more than 1,650 tons of CO2 emissions avoided, the equivalent of removing 440 cars from the roadways, and to reduce the impact on our country's power grids.
In addition to this, in 2002, the Whole Foods Berkeley store became the country's first major food retailer that used solar energy as its main power source. The store was followed by Brentwood, California that uses solar energy for 24% of its power source and its Edgewater, New Jersey, store that hosts an array of 14,000 square feet of solar panels.
In order to reduce paper waste, Whole Foods is implementing paperless ordering systems. The use of power monitors and other technology is intended to reduce energy consumption. The company also uses compostable supplies for its food and wine sampling. Whole Foods also pays great interest to using rechargeable batteries (ACC, 2012).
Transportation is another business area where Whole Foods excels at producing environmental benefits. The company is trying to reduce the carbon print by supporting carpooling and public transportation for team members. The company also saves packing peanuts and gives them to local shipping stores in order to help with their shipping process. In addition to this, Whole Foods tries to determine its suppliers to eliminate Styrofoam use in shipping. The strong relationship that Whole Foods has developed with its suppliers allows the company to have an important influence on them and their business. Therefore, the company uses its power of influence in order to determine other companies to address environmental friendly practices.
The characteristics of organic milk make it more difficult to be brought from producers to customers, following a long line of distributors. Organic milk requires a more efficient inventory management, and increased efforts from producers and retailers. This leads to increased prices. Higher prices are one of the most frequently complained about organics' disadvantages by customers. Market studies have determined that about a third of the organic milk market is based on premium products (Head, 2012). Prices represent an important barrier for certain customer segments.
The technologies used by Whole Foods in order to develop environment friendly practices require significant investments. Therefore, it is only natural that the level of investments is reflected in its products' prices, such as organic milk. However, the price difference in comparison with regular milk is not as significant as in the case of other competitors. This is because While Foods is the leader in its market and benefits from a large number of national stores. This allows the company to generate impressive organic milk sales that allow Whole Foods to make the required investments while not increasing prices beyond an available level for most customers.
There are several factors that customers weigh in when making their purchasing…