SWOT Analysis


Vitality is a dog food company that produces a variety of health conscious products for dogs of all ages. Longevity is a subsidiary of Vitality, a national pet product company. We have established an overall competitive advantage by differentiating our products as higher quality dog food with a consciousness for our global environment and mature dogs' health. The main product we're focusing on is "10+" - an all-natural wet food for mature dogs, mostly in the range of ten years and older. Longevity's goal is to provide pet owners with an all-natural dog food that can add a balance of health and wellness to their dog's senior years.

Environmental Analysis – Internal

Strengths
Weaknesses
Marketing
Financing
Experienced Employees
Only large manufacturer offering all natural, wet dog food (that I know of)
Pricing
Technology
Shelf Life of Product
Opportunities:
Threats
More Pet Owners
Increased Spending of Pet Owners
Marketing Baby Boomer
Recent recall on competitor's products
Product innovation and exclusivity
Delivery service for on competitor's products
Lower priced inferior products
Lack of consumer awareness
Consumer Skepticism
Other well established, reputable companies

Strengths:
Marketing

Longevity has established a strong reputation in the marketplace due to branding and marketing . The company's regional sales immediately after advertising campaign launches rank 4th nationally, reflecting tremendous response rates. Longevity's top products ranks third among all natural dog food products in awareness surveys conducted across the country despite being the 5th smallest company registering national sales.

Financing

Longevity has been extremely successful in securing capital. Vitality has subsidized $4,000,000 for new product development. Longevity has maintained a zero debt ratio for the past 18 months.

Experienced Employees

Employee retention has been a top priority for Longevity. We pride ourselves on attracting and retaining the top talent in the industry. Over 63% of our employees have five or more years experience in their field and 38% of our executives have over 10 years experience or more. We also employ pet food consultants who are qualified food technologist and nutritionist and have over 30 years experience working in the pet food industry. Our legal department has over 7 years experience advising on all the aspects of the regulations and industry codes of practice concerning pet food.

Product Innovation (explain-CJ)
Product Exclusivity(What does this mean?)

Weaknesses:
Pricing

Pricing is one of our greatest challenges to overcome. Expensive manufacturing costs leads to lower profit margins. In the competitive market of specialized dog food, it has been difficult to offset the expenses from research and development, human resources, advertising and promotions .

Technology

Longevity has suffered delays and additional expenses due to failure to innovate our manufacturing process. We have successfully maintained our "Product made with Organic Ingredients" status at the expense of not acquiring state of the art machinery that would increase productivity but further reduce profitability.

Though food is vacuum sealed will it need to be refrigerated, if so would that mean refrigerated shipping and displays

Opportunities:

More Pet Owners

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association's most recent "National Pet Owners Survey" found 63 percent of U.S. households, or 71.1 million homes, own a pet. That's up from 56 percent when the study was first conducted in 1988.

Increased Spending of Pet Owners

How Americans treat pets has changed dramatically over the past decade or so. No longer do they relegate dogs and cats to life in the backyard eating table scraps. Americans spent $41 billion on their pets last year, according to Steve Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Manufactures Association. That’s twice what was spent 10 years ago, including veterinary services.

Marketing to Baby Boomer

As a large portion of our population begin to reach retirement, the need for extending the life long companionship of pets increase. In addition to families with growing children and middle-aged singles, the seniors' and soon to be seniors' consciousness of their pets health creates a niche market worth targeting for dog food for mature dogs.

Recent recall on competitor's products

From February through June of 2007, dog food products manufactured by Menu Foods have been recalled due to findings of melamine and contaminated wheat gluten in various products. This presents a unique opportunity for Longevity to launch an advertising campaign to address the benefits of organic dog food as an alternative to processed dog foods and establish our superior products.

There is definitely potential growth for those who need assisted living such as seniors and the handicapped.
We would like to have an at home service that delivers dog food if the owner can't physically go to the stores themselves. There is definitely potential growth in our services for those who can't help themselves or live more retired lives such
as baby boomers and the handicap, but this could also turn into all around service for everyone if needed.

Threats:
Lower Priced Inferior Products

In an industry saturated with homogenized, over-processed inferior alternatives, a major competitive threat to our company's sales is the availability of cheap dog food. This creates a threat to company market share. Consumers are being duped into believing that they are feeding their pets healthy foods, when in actuality they are feeding nothing more than inferior meat meals, cheap grains (including corn and soy), fillers, by-products, pesticides, preservatives and toxins.

Lack of Consumer Awareness specifically for organic is a threat because suggests a smaller market share and a need for non traditional exposure

Environmental Analysis – External

Environments
Opportunities
Threats
Economic
Always a market for dog food
Lower Priced Inferior Products
Legal/ Regulatory
Recall On Competitor's Products
AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Maintenance (saw this on the Iams site, I'll do more research on it)
Socio-cultural
Baby Boomer's Coming of Age
Health food awareness is on the rise for humans,
we can transfer that excitement and new market to
dogs
Consumer Awareness
Consumer taste constantly changing (what will be the next big thing in dog food that overpowers the importance of natural dog food)?
Technological
vacuum sealed pouches prolong shelf life
How do we preserve an all natural wet food? does it need to be refrigerated?
Competitive
We're the only ones to offer an all natural wet food
Product innovation
Iams offers an all natural dry food which may not need refrigeration


Competitive Analysis


Competitive Weakness: Healthy Ingredients, Environmentally Conscious,

Competitive Advantage: only all-natural wet food
Areas of Comparison
Our Business
Competitor A
Beneful
Competitor B
Iams
Competitor C
Natures Recipe
Competitor D
Eukanuba
Image

Well known brand with international marketing & sales
Known worldwide as a well established,
reputable dog food company
Low Profile
Established and reputable company
Location

Worldwide Dist.
World wide distribution with availability through grocery stores, pet stores and online purchasing
Pet Stores
Distributes worldwide. Can be purchase online, food markets, and at pet stores.
Layout

N/A
independent or franchised supermarkets and pet stores, also online
N/A
n/a
Atmosphere

N/A

N/A
n/a
Products

Product line includes
they have a line of all natural food, yet none specific to one age group and it is only offered in dry form
For all ages of dogs they have wet and dry forms of dog food. They are a premium dog food also.
Line of natural products
Services

Dog Food Products, Social Networking website & Magazine
interactive and comprehensive web site offering various products and information
Online veterinarian, newsletter, interactive web site.
Website generates specific diet for different breeds. Offers thorough information on all breeds.
Pricing


it is a higher-end dog food and is more expensive than more generic brands
It is a more expensive dog food, especially for senior dogs.
More expensive than basic dog food products. Considered a high-end product.
Advertising

Showcases natural, wholesome approach of health & happiness
a homely, friendly approach. They come across as a quality dog food, for every dog. Commercials usually have a vibrant, happy dog with the owner and narration by a respected actor.
Barely any online, commercial, or newspaper advertising. It uses a more in-store browsing approach. The product is advertised as premium dog food. Target market is senior dogs.
The ads showcase Eukanuba as the brand that understands and brings out a dog's personal best, be it a prize-winning show dog, beloved household pet, or both.
Sales Methods

Pet Stores in select states and Online
keeping a strong image and offering sales and coupons through the web site and being available world wide
Online bulk purchasing/sales opportunities for products, as well as in stores.
Unleashed a multi-platform marketing campaign to educate consumers about the unique nutritional needs of different dog breeds and sizes to help support the relaunch of its premium Eukanuba line of dog foods.

Five Forces of Competition

Rivalry
Aggressive competition due to assorted product lines aimed at satisfying market
New Entrants
High barrier of entry due to specialized manufacturing process
Supplier’s Bargaining Power
Specialized goods & limited vendors causing increased costs
Buyer’s Bargaining Power
Small number of substitute products affords a higher price product
Substitute Products
Limited specialized products targeted at niche market
all-natural dry foods