A behind the scenes look at the Marketing department
There are two things we can agree on: the market for plant-based products is changing rapidly, and any new product that enters the market needs to prove itself quickly on the retail shelf.
With us, you will find all the necessary knowledge on vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes – from market trends to end product. Everything you need to develop a successful product. After all, how cool is it to see your very own product on the retail shelf?
Our marketing department plays an important role in advising our clients. But they also help to introduce products successfully. We are active in the food industry, Retail and QSR. This requires a targeted approach for each channel. Mark van Noorloos, Marketing Manager, has been working at Schouten for 11 years. He tells us how his department contributes to the introduction of successful products in collaboration with customers.
A small team with all the necessary expertise
“At the moment, we have four people working in our department. Each person has his own specialisation. Kees has been strengthening our team since October 2020 as our Trade Marketeer. Internally, he keeps us all up to date on the latest trends and developments, and then he also shares these with our customers. He makes sure our Sales Managers are well prepared for our customers.
Annemiek is our Product Manager and she works on optimising our product range and on introducing new products.
As a department, we are also involved in packaging development and take care of all the photography needed for our promotional material.
Janna is Sr. Marketeer; she takes care of the trade fair organisation, online activities and monitoring our corporate identity, among other things. We participate in major food fairs such as Anuga, SIAL and PLMA. This is where we meet customers, but also where we show our latest product introductions.”
The expertise of Marketing and R&D
“Marketing has the important role of inspiring our R&D department with new product ideas and ensuring the quality of the products we introduce.
Various platforms exist that monitor trends. You need good partners that can help you with this. There is a difference between hypes and trends, and a difference between trends and behavioural changes. Ultimately, you would like to bring out an innovative product that meets a consumer need. Then it becomes a structural part of a consumer’s purchasing behaviour.
We innovate by having our eyes and ears on the ground worldwide, daring to think out-of-the-box and presenting the right information and trends at the right time. I already have lots of experience in the market, so I can tell pretty well whether a product will be successful.”
A promising retail shelf
“We provide our customers with product information, and market and product insights that ensure successful product introductions. For example:
The number of plant-based claims in retail is increasing – both on the dairy and meat substitute shelves. However, despite consumer demand, the number of plant-based chilled ready-to-eat options that are introduced is lagging behind. We advise industrial customers to respond to this. We offer various ingredients that are a perfect fit for this. For example, vegetarian diced ham that can be added to a pasta salad meal. Or how about vegetarian nut balls in a ready-made meal with couscous?”
“It is important that we have a thorough knowledge of the customer and the market in which the customer operates. You have to be able to put yourself in their place and then add value, providing strong advice with which the customer can move forward. This type of advice is different for a retailer than for a pizza producer, so we make sure to keep that distinction.”
Is your market actually ready for this?
“We notice that as a company we have sufficient distinctive capability. But the challenge is that we face increasing competition. We have to keep distinguishing ourselves. We also observe that many markets have not yet developed as far as the Dutch market. In the case of foreign customers, you have to be able to assess at what stage the customer’s market is, so that the advice and products match consumer needs.”
How about an informal meeting?
Would you be interested in getting to know us? No strings attached! Or maybe you want to ask us about a product. Feel free to get in touch with us! We are happy to offer advice.