a. Introduction to the project:
Dutch Pack International at Utrecht, part of Bark Packaging at Eerbeek, is a full-service Dutch supplier of high-quality customized printed flexible packaging (www.dutchpack.eu). The packaging consists of flexible flow-pack packaging as well as flexible stand-up pouches and these are used as the primary packaging material to pack, protect, transport and sell food and non-food products, including soup, soap, detergent tablets, pet food, nuts, coffee, tea, etc.
The company has been in business for 25 years and it has a fair brand name in its markets. The company employs 10 persons and its supply of the above packaging as well as it full-service support have resulted in a stable customer base. Dutch Pack’s service includes the participation in the design of the customer’s package, the specialized advice as regards the required material that is necessary for specific product applications, the purchasing of the packaging, the securing of the proper product quality as well as the storage and just-in-time supply of the packaging that is eventually produced according to the customer’s requests..
Dutch Pack buys its customized packaging from a dozen factories, all over the globe, including factories in Italy, Spain, Turkey and China. Dutch Pack sells this packaging material – ready to use – to Dutch small and medium food and non-food manufacturing and packing companies. One large customer is the multinational company Cargill, but multinationals are not on Dutch Pack’s prime target list since these companies want to buy their packaging directly from the packaging manufacturing factories. A separate division of Dutch Pack, Dutch Coffee Pack, on the other hand, is active all over Europe, selling its high-quality coffee and tea pouches to a nice of many hundreds of European coffee roasters. This division is highly successful with its rapidly increasing sales in a downright booming European specialty coffee market.
Following the success of Dutch Coffee Pack, the company is looking for promising other fast-growing nice markets for its selective growth plans. One of these markets is the European market in health and sport foods. These specialized, often high-nutrition or high-calory foods are consumed by amateur sports people as well as professional sports people, including runners and weight lifters.
Preliminary investigations by Dutch Pack as regards this market have unearthed that the demand for this kind of food appears to be increasing rapidly all over Europe, but Dutch Pack lacks the time and staff for a thorough investigation of the European health foods market. The company therefore needs support to retrieve market information about this particular market in order to define and execute a strategic as well as operational marketing plan aimed at the European health food manufacturers.
b. Research Questions: