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Posted on: July 21st, 2016 by Robert Lawson

Strategic evaluation of UK fruit snacking market

An overseas Manufacturer of branded healthy snackfoods was assessing entry into the UK market whether through acquisition or other means.

Working in close collaboration with the client, we developed research proposals and stimulus materials for both qualitative and quantitative stages of market research. We developed product and brand concepts adapted to the UK market including the clients’ existing brand equities, those of potential acquisition targets and original, proprietary concepts developed by ourselves in collaboration with the client. We oversaw the completion and debriefing of both stages of ad hoc research and the purchase of relevant packages of retail scan and consumer panel data. We evaluated market and sub-category historical performance, the drivers of market growth and competitor success/failure and share development and factors influencing both short and long term growth potential for the category and the key players within it. To further inform this evaluation we interviewed past senior managers from some of the leading competitors in the category space of particular interest to our client. We evaluated consumer drivers across a number of demographic criteria and across different healthy snacking usage occasions.

We then undertook commercial and operational due diligence of a Natural Balance Foods through two phases of their sale process.

On commercial issues, we reviewed the IM, VDD and the data room material and attended management presentations.  We reviewed account and channel performance by the target’s brands, product groups and skus, supplemented by numerous store visits. We critiqued the future plans and evaluated the growth drivers and commercial outlook of the business, with specific focus on the planned expansion of range (sku count and NPD), availability (distribution and siting in-store) and consumer penetration and rate of sale.

On supply chain due diligence, our access to co-manufacturers and supply chain data was limited by the vendors, but we were able to provide assessments of the relative cost competitiveness of the target alongside the key supply chain risks and opportunities.

We analysed buy and build opportunities based on our knowledge of industry participants and estimated synergies available on acquisition.

We continue to work with our client in ongoing evaluation of the UK opportunity