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Dates Pastries, Creative Essay Example

Pages: 10

Words: 2817

Creative Essay

Introduction

Introducing products from different cultures to new societies can allow for the development of cultural understandings and health enhancement (Sullivan, 2003). In Saudi Arabia, dates are commonly used in pastries, but these products are not highly prevalent in Ireland. Thus, it would be valuable to determine whether Irish people would enjoy eating dates and whether introducing date pastries would be a marketable idea. Even though dates are a regional food to some extent, the increased globalisation of the marketplace has made it such that it is now easier than ever to import goods from other countries (Christensen, 1997). Meanwhile, even though dates are not readily available on the Irish market, they can be found sparsely in some stores. Introducing dates to Irish culture would be beneficial not only because it would introduce new varieties of food, it will also allow for the development of a healthier snack. Dates can be used to replace chocolate in pastries, allowing for the consumption of a flavorful product with less calories and fat. Since many Irish individuals are concerned about maintaining their health, the introduction of this product is a valuable way to help people still enjoy their snacks while also altering their eating habits in a positive way (Dacko, 2008). Thus, using dates as sweets could become a popular concept in Ireland, provided that it is introduced properly. It is hypothesized that the reception of this product will be positive, provided that date pastries are baked in a manner that will allow for the maximization of taste.

Survey

To determine whether this concept would be successful on the market, a survey was issued to 20 different individuals of different genders and ethnic backgrounds to determine their opinion about the product. A SurveyMonkey was generated to determine aspects concerning the sample population in addition to their perception of the product. The questions asked for this purpose concerned their gender, nationality, age, the frequency of their pastry consumption, their favourite fruit filling for these snacks, their concern about eating healthy foods, whether they have tried dates and whether they remember liking them if they have, whether they know that dates are healthier than chocolate, and whether they would be willing to try pastries with date fillings.

A majority of the individuals that answered the survey reported having an Irish ethnicity, while the second most prevalent group was Saudi and the third most prevalent group was Chinese. Two individuals elected to skip this survey question. 55% of the respondents (11) were male, while 45% of the respondents (9) were female. A majority of those surveyed were aged 25 to 34 (50% or 10 participants), the second most common age frequency was 18 to 24 (35% or 7 participants, and the least common age frequency was 35 to 44 (15% or 3 participants).

Next, a majority of participants reported that they eat pastries once in a while (50%), some individuals eat pastries half of the time (20%), less individuals eat them most of the time (15%), and approximately the same number of individuals eat them always (15%). No participants reported never eating pastries. Furthermore, the most popular filling for pastries was chocolate (60%), the second most popular was cinnamon (30%), and the third most popular was strawberry (10%). Last, a majority of participants reported that they would prefer to eat healthier pastries (60%), only 10% do not prefer to eat healthy food and pastry fillings, and 30% reported that they don’t feel strongly about healthy or unhealthy food and pastry fillings, indicating that there are diverse feelings about health among this sample group.

Last, the survey detailed information about the habits of the participants with regards to eating dates and their opinions about the fruit. A majority of participants (85%) responded that they have tried dates before. Furthermore, a majority of participants (55%) reported that they do enjoy the way that dates taste, while 35% of the participants didn’t dislike dates but reported not enjoying them too much. A majority of participants reported that they knew that dates are healthier than chocolate (60%), while some participants were not sure (20%). A majority of participants said that they would be willing to try pastries that are made using dates (55%), while the remainder of the survey participants reported that they would not be interested in doing so.

Gap in Market

The survey indicated that there is more support than not for the creation of date pastries. Furthermore, since a majority of survey participants were Irish and Saudi, it would be beneficial to market the product towards these demographics. Since many participants have not had date pastries previously, it will be necessary to create the product and complete further testing to determine whether it would be valuable to sell them in a large scale in Ireland. Since there is a gap in the market in Ireland in which date pastries are not available, it would be plausible to fill this gap based on the apparent demand for the product, as indicated by the survey results.

There is currently an increase in the number of pastry fillings that are being offered in the United Kingdom as a whole. However, many companies and bakeries have excluded the possibility of using dates in their food products. Since there is not currently any sign that they will do so in the near future, it is possible to take advantage of this gap in the market and release the date pastry on this basis. Doing so will contribute to the likelihood that a company that does release this type of pastry would be able to corner this market and have a competitive advantage against bakeries that choose to release this pastry after this initial release.

Market Sentiment

The results of the survey can be utilized to reflect the market sentiment. A majority of the individuals in the survey were of Irish and Saudi nationality, so these are the groups of people that are most likely to support the development of date pastries. Next, it is important to consider that many individuals living in Ireland would be willing to try these products because they have not been made available to them previously. Thus, it would be beneficial to launch the date pastries as an initial release to determine if people will enjoy them (Dibb et al., 2001).

According to the Irish Food Board Service, sales on pastries such as biscuits are on the decrease as customers are beginning to prefer smaller snacks for health purposes. These smaller portions are said to be mainly for health reasons, as members of the Irish population are becoming increasingly concerned about their health. This trend is particularly prevalent among female shoppers. These analyses indicate that even though customers want smaller and healthier products, they are not willing to completely forgo the purchase of these sweets altogether. This, it appears that the market would be ready for the development and release of a product that meets their growing health concerns and would be able to offer a larger portion of snack while still maintaining the health benefits that smaller pastries offer.

Product Feature and Development Testing

The following data pastry recipe will be utilized for the development of the prototype. Cinnamon flavoring will be added to some of the prototypes in order to appeal to the individuals that prefer this type of pastry filling because cinnamon is healthy in small amounts. A prototype will also be made with and without nuts in order to accommodate for food allergies among the population.

Date Pastry Recipe with Nuts:

  1. “Heat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place dates, walnuts, coconut, flour and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Beat sugar and butter together in a large bowl until well blended. Gradually blend in date mixture.
  3. Roll out puff pastry to 1/8-inch thick and cut into 4-inch squares. Place 1 tbsp. filling in center of each square and brush edges with water. Bring corners together to form small pyramid shapes and brush with beaten egg.
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream, if desired” (Natural Delights, n.d.).

The reported nutrition facts for this pastry are as follows, “Calories: 360, Fat: 22, Saturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 0g, MUFA: 2.86, PUFA: 5.00, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 160mg, Potassium: 193mg, Carbohydrates: 57g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 29g, Protein: 5g, Vitamin A: 6%, Vitamin C: 0%, Calcium: 4%, Iron: 8%” (Natural Delights, n.d.).

To test the product, various combinations of it were offered to participants, who were asked to rate them on a scale of 1-10. When possible, participants were asked to eat all three pastries, the one with cinnamon only, the one with nuts and cinnamon, and the one with just dates. Out of the 20 people surveyed, a majority of participants (60%) reported that they prefer the pastry with nuts and cinnamon, the second most reported that they prefer the pastry with cinnamon only (20%), and the least reported that they prefer the pastry with dates only (10%), Furthermore, 70% of participants reported that they would prefer to eat the date pastries that they tried over chocolate due to the taste and health benefits that it offers.

Positioning, Marketing Strategy, and Development

All three aforementioned versions of the pastry will be created for sale to reflect the diverse flavour and dietary needs of members of the Irish population. Promotions for this product will revolve primarily around distributing free samples to individuals. To start this promotion, it would be plausible to set up a table on campus and offer these pastries to students, also having information available about where they would be able to get them if they enjoy them (Jobber, 2001). The individuals giving out the pastries will also be asked to talk to customers, highlighting that the pastries can be eating for breakfast, as a snack, and a dessert, emphasizing the utility of the food. They will also be asked to provide the people who try the free samples with health information, showing that these pastries are healthier than pastries with conventional chocolate filling. The next phase of the promotion would be to repeat this practice by partnering up with bakeries across Ireland and conducting this effort on a larger scale (Lancaster et al., 1999).

An additional way to market this product would be through local pages on social media, including Facebook and Twitter. By creating pages for this product, information about it could be shared with the click of a button. Both free and paid marketing on these sites would be valuable because both sites allow for the input of parameters to help the page owner to target only certain demographics, such as area and ethnicity. Thus, targeting Irish and Saudi individuals within the country would be easy through this method because social media sites already have a majority of this data available. Through these means, promotional discounts and giveaways could also be provided to generate market interest concerning this product.

Business Analysis

Success of the business will be set by implementing sales goals that should be met as the product is introduced. The first three months of business will therefore be considered the launch period and no significant amount of profit is expected because many free products will be given away to introduce customers to the concept of date pastries. However, in the next month, the goal will be to sell at least 10 pastries. In the following month, the goal will be 20 pastries. Each month, the aim will be for 10 more pastries to be sold. To determine the success of this initiative, customer data will be collected to determine the types of people that are purchasing these pastries. Therefore, it will be plausible to further refine business practices as time goes on. Furthermore, to determine the ability of the business to meet sales goals, the total amount of sales each month will be compiled into a graph to track growth over time. In this manner, there will be a graphical representation of business achievements to allow the organization to modify its practices as needed. An additional value that is important to measure is the number of bakeries that are including the creation of date pastries in their practices. It is expected that the relationship formed with these bakeries through the promotion of free sampling will encourage some of them to try selling date pastries on their own. It would therefore be valuable to follow up with these individuals to determine if they are selling the pastries and if so, how successful they are in these efforts.

The SWOT analysis for this product is as follows:

Strength:

Date pastries will be healthier than chocolate pastries.

Weaknesses:

Some consumers may still prefer the taste of chocolate over the taste of dates.

Opportunities:

This product will be the first of its kind to be released in Ireland, which could contribute to success.

Threats:

Time – It might take long time to lunch this product to market.

Revenue Stream

Exact factors regarding revenue are not currently known, but it is expected that the profitability of this product will be primarily based on the cost of the ingredients needed to make the pastry and the ability of bakeries to produce them effectively and to sell them to customers. Revenue will be monitored by tracking the number of purchases, although the price of the pastry can be variable based on the region, due to the associated costs of running a bakery (Lavecchia, 2007). Initially, it is expected that there will be more risk than return involved in the creation and sale of this product, however, it is likely that the relationship between risk and return will stabilise as the product has been on the market for a longer period of time.

Commercialisation

To make this product available on the market, the pastry will be made and distributed for sale at local bakeries. These bakeries will also have the option to produce them on their own, but they will be required to purchase dates from my business in order to ensure that they are of high quality. Furthermore, they will be required to follow the same baking procedure if they engage in this partnership. The next phase of commercialization is to approach convenience store owners at the local and international level to persuade them to carry date pastries on their shelves. These products will be made as a collaboration with the bakeries involved in this initiative. Partnerships will also be made with university lunch rooms to have the product sold in this outlet as well. It is expected that organisations that endorse healthy eating will be more likely to engage in this partnership.

An additional consideration that is necessary for the modern context is that it would be valuable for the company to create a website that advertises the locations in which the product is sold and even gives customers the opportunity to purchase these products online. Making products more widely available and easy to purchase will make it more likely that these consumers will take action and purchase the product. Overall, it is beneficial to understand that at this point, it also may be necessary to establish more bakery partnerships and expand the reach of the company. It is expected that the company will grow as the demand for its products increase, which will greatly assist its commercialisation plan.

Intellectual Property Law Considerations

Since the concept of date pastries were one that already existed and are now being made available in a new market, it would not be relevant to patent this product. Instead, it may be necessary to trademark the brand name after it is created so that no other company can imitate the likeness of this one. Initially, it would not be important to issue such a trademark because it is expected that it would take a significant period of time before the product becomes popular enough that others would want to manufacture it for profit. However, it is important for this business to consider that such an issue could eventually become a reality of the organisation, requiring legal action to be taken. If a more original recipe is generated through continuous production of this product, it may be beneficial, at this point, to patent the recipe. However, at this point in time, it would not be essential to become involved with intellectual property law.

References

Christensen, Clayton M. (1997), The innovator’s dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail, Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Harvard Business School Press.

Dacko, Scott G. (2008). The advanced dictionary of marketing.

Dibb, S. et al. (2001). Marketing – Concepts and Strategies. Fourth European Edition Houghton Mifflin; Boston.

Jobber, D. (2001). Principles & Practice of Marketing; Third Edition McGraw-Hill, London.

Lancaster, G. and Massingham, L. (1999): Essentials of Marketing; Third Edition McGraw-Hill; London.

Lavecchia, Gina (2000). Profits on a silver platter: Restaurant Hospitality.

Natural Delights. (n.d.). Date and Walnut Stuffed Puff Pastry. Retrieved from http://www.naturaldelights.com/recipes/date-and-walnut-stuffed-puff-pastry

Sullivan, Arthur, Steven M. Sheffrin. (2003). Economics: Principles in action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall

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