Vertical Growth by Horizontal Partnerships

“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.” ― Albert Camus, Notebooks 1935-1942

No one exemplifies this trait better than two brands who have seemingly taken the market by storm over night. It takes a lot to be an over night success. Both Meat One and Day Fresh have gotten the formula right. Looking at our demographics and subsequently our culture and cuisine trends in relation to true demand problems, these two have slotted them selves in to being on the supply side of that demand side problem.

What makes this even more interesting is that in Milk segment Engro Foods, tried its hand in a one year experiment with a large budget and 20 odd stores and failed. Both on the uptake of the service and market acceptability. The franchise model didn’t work out for them and they concluded the experiment having spent half of the allocated funds and graciously bowing out of a space dominated by the local player Dairyland . Some times its not a matter of scale or being in the business already its about execution and a well thought out strategy.

So whats next for Dairyland and MeatOne, in an ideal world one would like to think beyond individual companies and dynamics and look to build synergies. To that end a natural distribution point for Dairylands product would be at MeatOne and it would help drive foot traffic which would increase same store sales for MeatOne.

But some one has to take the imitative to review such corporate partnerships and alignment. It also builds a strategic barrier to entry to other Meat or Dairy players who would then think twice about entering the market as they wouldn’t be competing with one strong brand but two and both the incumbent players would have a larger safety net when a new competitor tries to enter.With other large local and foreign conglomerates planning to enter both dairy and meat markets it would be a very interesting mix if these to got together to come up with same store concepts.

With ICI now ironing out the details on a tie up with Unibrands to market the Japanese infant milk brand Morinaga, the writing is on the wall for people to tap in to the milk nutrition market space.In the Meat section there is no substantive information yet but both Engro and ICI are rumored to be exploring these segments, which tells a telling tale around the potential and market size. There are a dozen if not more mid sized, traditionally export oriented brands that are looking to solve the puzzle of cold chain, logistics, distribution and building consumer brands. Much like Meat One did.

Given our shopping habits and an emphasis on fresh consumables, but given the time/traffic and other pressures of not being able to go out to the corner store daily, A multi concept food store that has Milk, Meat, Produce and Bread could be the next retailing phenomenon in the local urban/metro space.

If some one were to build a store footprint that would cater to the consumers basic needs they would most certainly create a new market entry point for them selves, their brand and distribution channels. The market has already shown that people are willing to pay a slight premium for hygienically produced and packaged products in the dairy and meat space, the likes of Hyperstar have proven the same for fruits and vegetables, fresh baked goods at middle market bakeries also prove the concept of paying a premium for a healthier preparation of the same product. The combination of all four should result in an ideal mix for a new relating concept.

These items already exist today but in their own distribution channels if there were horizontal partnerships in the space, the vertical gains would essentially give the non-branded, lower end of the spectrum and traditional producers a tough time. Its time for Pakistani companies to look beyond the obvious and explore avenues that increase their footprint and share holder value.




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