I decided to use this week’s blog to take a look at Spain’s food industry, especially the baby food market, since that is the area my company (Smileat) is in and I feel like I am better informed on the issue having worked for four weeks now.
To begin, saying that the baby food market here is competitive is an understatement, but I feel that my company is taking a unique approach. To clarify, I say that the industry is competitive due to the amount of places where you can possible buy baby food here in Spain. Sure, there are big supermarkets and grocery stores scattered throughout the city, but there are also pharmacies on almost every block, and its stores like these that really make competition difficult. With that being said, it is more difficult to penetrate the market when you have to establish yourself in so many individual stores and locations, rather than riding along once you have your product selling in a major chain store. However, I feel that this challenge can easily be turned into an opportunity. Given that my company makes and sells organic baby food, they can gain a lot of growth via word of mouth advertising, and small local growth. Through my time at the company, I have learned that Spain is a leading producer of organic raw foods and products, but lags in terms of consumption. By being able to enter the market one small neighborhood store at a time, we are able to reach people on a more unique level, fostering organic growth among consumers. I also believe that our product can even serve as a form of education to customers, and allow our company to expand product offerings to people of various ages, while still conducting business within the organic food market.
In addition, I have learned that this industry is very value oriented. Smile at takes great pride in connecting with local Spanish farmers and suppliers that can provide the highest quality organic fruits, vegetables, and grains so that their product is the highest quality that it can be. This means that they are also extremely conscious of the production processes so that there is absolutely no presence of potential allergens, and that the products look and taste like their are hand made. Furthermore, Smileat is conscious of the environment throughout their whole supply chain, using glass for their jars (the most easily recyclable packaging)and even uses a bike-courier delivery service to make local deliveries in the center of Madrid. This helps the environment by reducing pollution, and helps to create jobs for those interested in protecting the environment. In addition to this shipping method, they emphasize prompt delivery service without damages to the product, and if any incidents do occur, they are quick to replace the product at no cost to the customer to try and maintain customer trust and confidence. It is highly evident that customer satisfaction, and environmental awareness are top priorities, and they use this minute to attract customers and set an example for other companies in their industry.
Overall, I have learned a lot about the industry here so far, and I think with the values that Smileat has, they are positioned for steady growth, to the point where they can rival well established brands, and feed millions of children the best food possible!