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Turning luxury into necessity during crunch time

Positioning your product as a must-have can help you grow even in a downturn
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<>For some businesses, an economic crunch can, ironically, be the perfect time to start growing one's business. Crisis can mean opportunity and one opportunity that presents itself is a still-growing need for healthier snack alternatives.

The drive towards a healthier lifestyle has been going forward since the 1980s and isn't likely to be affected too much by economic downturns. This is the belief of Yoh-Gurt Froz, which has been positioning itself as a healthy alternative to ice cream and other desserts since 2005.

"Our prices are more premium than ordinary ice cream so we do not really share the same target market," says General Manager Jane Gatchalian, although she acknowledges that some ice cream parlors probably consider them threats. "Instead of eating ice cream, consumers who are now more health conscious buy frozen yogurt instead," she adds.

No price tag on health
"Yoghurt is being driven by a spending market, the AB to upper C, and relatively young (between 25-45 years old)," says Adolf Aran of Courage Asia, a food marketing consultancy. "[As] this market is not price sensitive... [it] will pay a premium on yoghurt being a healthier alternative to existing desserts. [They] tend to include desserts and premium in their daily spending list," he explains.

This is where market targeting plays a crucial role in growing your business during crunch time. Even as all kinds of consumers try to cut costs when the economy is not doing well, "necessities" will always get their way into their shopping carts. Premium products positioned as 'essentials' do better than other 'luxuries' in the minds of the target market.
Gatchalian adds, "Even at its premium price in the present economic situation, people will still buy [frozen yogurt], especially now that more and more people are becoming conscious of their health. We target people who believe that you cannot put a price on good health." Yoh-Gurt Froz believes that their market will continue to grow.

Growth amid decline
And that belief is proving itself true. From an initial store in Tomas Morato, the company has since expanded to ten branches and is planning to open two more soon. At present all the outlets are company-owned but they are looking into the franchising option.

An interesting strategy is the co-location of certain branches within Hobbes & Landes toy stores, which Gatchalian sees as a mutually beneficial relationship. "During lean seasons for [Hobbes], Yoh-Gurt Froz customers who are consistently buying our frozen yogurt, also buy [their products], since they have to enter the store to get to our cart. Likewise, during the holiday season, the influx of customers buying gifts and toys helps in Yoh-Gurt Froz' sales," she explains. It's a good move because the partner stores have markets that overlap.

Aran predicts more growth if frozen yoghurt can spread to other segments. "They will continue to grow some more once the food concept? is able to go mainstream and penetrate the CD market segments." 

But for now, the economic crunch doesn't seem like a big problem for them since they are capitalizing on consumers' health consciousness. Gatchalian asserts: "Regardless of economic difficulties, people who are actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle will continue to buy our product and other similar nutritional goods."

Contact Details:
Yoh-Gurt Froz
Glacier Bay Diversified Ventures, Inc.
Tel: +63 2 3739651
Fax: + 63 2 3734211

Courage Asia

Contact Person: Adolf Aran Jr.
Telephone: 02-2151474
Telefax: 02-7272057
Cellphone: 09178538037; 0922-TOPMENU


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