GROWTH STRATEGIES IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY IN CATALONIA

GROWTH STRATEGIES IN THE FOOD SECTOR

“Within agri-food sector, we can define cluster initiatives based on main growth strategies. This way we maximize synergies among companies from different subsectors which still share key strategic challenges”

CASE DESCRIPTION

Starting point: the agri-food sector was traditionally developed with a product approach (meat sub-sector or wine sub-sector) or with value chain approach (primary sector versus industrial sector). A project was defined to identify main common strategies within the agri-food sector. The objective was to seek common strategic challenges among companies, beyond the type of product or its location in the value chain.

The project was developed in two different phases. First, identifying existing strategies in the agri-food sector, by means of business analysis and interviews with companies from different sub-sectors and stages of the value chain. Second, two growth strategies were prioritized to initiate a process of strategic reflection: The strategy of elaboration and commercialization of gourmet or premium agri-food products and the specialized service for foodservice market. For each prioritized strategy, a joint reflection process was carried out, mapping first the companies following each strategy, and second agreeing with the key strategic challenges and actions to facilitate the development of these improvement areas.

ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE PROJECT

  • It was an innovative approach within agri-food sector, changing the traditional categorization according to product and / or degree of transformation, to segment according to strategies. Shared strategic challenges and synergies to be developed were identified based on the same strategy, beyond the productive sub-sector of each company.
  • The strategy-based approach made it easier for companies collaborate in the development of shared strategic challenges. The degree of synergy was very high, since the initiatives brought together companies from different subsectors but selling to the same type of client in the market and with need to reach the same key success factors. For example, the cluster initiative for high-end or gourmet products brought together different companies such as wine companies or meat derivatives companies which shared more challenges in terms of business and strategy than what they shared with other companies of the same original subsector.
  • Nearly 300 gourmet products companies were identified in Catalonia with a turnover close to 500 million euros, and growing at an average annualized rate of over 9%. For the strategy of service for the foodservice market, a total turnover of almost 5,000 million euros was estimated, with some 450 companies identified with a strong presence in this channel.
  • Both the cluster initiative of gourmet products and the cluster initiative of foodservice are currently initiatives of reference in the sector, by developing relevant actions which are not implemented within any other entities or more general initiatives.
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