Finding New Markets to Diversify your Customer Base

At anytime during an economic downturn, there are uncertainties in the market that can derail your business. Situations such as this are a reminder of how important it is to diversify your customer base. Fortunately, there are many segments within the Foodservice industry that can offset the losses from challenging market conditions. Some examples include healthcare, vending, or industrial accounts. Opportunities within these segments are often overlooked, but each can offer significant incremental sales volume if you look closely. 

For example, let’s look at healthcare. Within the healthcare sector there are hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities to name a few. Each of these can offer a variety of opportunities. In a hospital, for instance, there are usually a few different operations. There is patient feeding where menus are typically on a 4-5week cycle and are modified on a monthly, quarterly, or a semi-annual basis. In the cafeteria, where employees and visitors often eat, there are less stringent nutritional guidelines and menus can change more frequently. Then there is catering for staff events and meetings, where the needs can vary widely depending on the size and schedule of events. Out of all of these, one thing is certain. The healthcare sector is relatively stable and can offer more client diversification to your business.

New Package Size or Price Point reaches New Markets

As a food manufacturer, your current product mix might not include the package size, price point, or formulas needed by segments outside of your current customer base. Once you begin to understand these parameters, then you can assess whether you have the capabilities and/or willingness to invest and pursue. For example, your current Foodservice pack size might be too small for an industrial food manufacturer, or maybe you have a product that would excel being portioned or individually wrapped. You may find that your competitors in these segments are different than the ones in your current current base, so it’s imperative to know who/what you’re selling against.

At BayWest Marketing, we work with food manufacturers to evaluate their current customer base and identify opportunities for growth in all segments of Foodservice. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business thrive through diversification.