My objective in pursuing a graduate course in a food company was to study the function of trade on a circuit outside home for a period of four months. Keen on studying a company policy different from those I has encountered during my previous experiences in the field of retail, my choice was directed towards the company Unilever. I wanted to know the organization of work preceding distribution, on the supply side, and if possible in a large group. During my interview with the regional director, I had the opportunity to choose the distribution chain, and the geographic area where the training would take place.
The story begins in 1870 in the Netherlands, where two merchant families, Jurgens and Van den Bergh, slowly created a flourishing trade with the United Kingdom dealing in a product that was slowly substituting butter: margarine. The first plant opened in 1872.
Meanwhile, in the North of England, in 1884, the grocer William Hesketh Lever started producing a new type of household soap, which he christened Sunlight. Three years later, production had reached nearly 450 tons of soap per week.
During the 1890s, the company Lever Brothers Ltd. expanded its range of products: Lifebuoy Soap for personal hygiene and Sunlight Flakes for household purposes.From 1895, Lever Brothers began to sell over 40,000 tons of Sunlight annually; the brand was gradually introduced to Europe, the United States and the British colonies.
In the early twentieth century, sectors dealing with margarine and soap began to intersect with more frequency. Indeed, the supply of oil and fat was hardly sufficient to respond to the demand by manufacturers of soap and margarine. Moreover, competition and increased prices for natural resources forced many companies to come together to defend against monopolistic suppliers. Some even began producing their own raw materials in order to be independent from suppliers. This is the case of the Lever Brothers and Van den Bergh and Jurgens.
The period from 1900 to 1910 is synonymous to expansion for Lever Brothers, as the company began its export trade activities in earnest, and started new plants in South Africa , three European countries, Canada, Australia, USA and in the Pacific.
The following decade (1910-1920) experienced several changes due to the First World War. It caused both an increase in demand for essential commodities in times of war (soap and margarine), and the intervention of the British and German industries that took over the control regarding the manufacture of oil and grease.
Lever Brothers expanded into West Africa by buying a palm oil factory, to secure its raw material needs; the company later undertook the construction of a research laboratory in the United Kingdom. The company is currently developing its activities in the margarine sector with the launch of Planters. Jurgens and Van den Bergh control seven plants dealing with margarine in Germany, have acquired several small companies in the Netherlands, and have also put up quite a number of factories in England.
[...] However, it may be interesting in terms of volumes. Indeed, the POS with the double effigy makes the brand visible to consumers, and this will stimulate their intention to purchase. Sales will increase for retailers, and wholesalers. Offer of this type of POS also allows the user to play the game for the event, if it is not already demand for this type of operation. Finally, some suppliers have covered this event (except cola, leader in the market for soft drinks), implying that there may be a potential for studies to be conducted on the viability of this project. [...]
[...] Commercial persuasion and the means at its disposal to successfully sell allow it to achieve its objectives. Sometimes, especially for the confectioner circuit the offer by Lipton is far too important in terms of order quantities to qualify for the promotion. The offer is well adapted to the situation, knowing that customers are more and more attentive to the purchase price. ? If the Cash & Carry has been a dramatic rise, it is thanks to its corporate structure, which enables it to offer very competitive rates on the market. [...]
[...] Other soft drinks have less PDM than Lipton Ice Tea (except sprite and fanta on the circuit outside the home). Also of note, is a larger share than "others" in supermarkets due, in particular, to the presence of MDD. It thus appears that the three main stakeholders on the market for soft drinks are Coca-Cola, Orangina and Lipton Ice Tea, competing in different segments: colas, carbonated fruit drinks and tea drinks. Note: Although present throughout the year in all distribution channels, soft drinks have the distinction of being a very seasonal market. [...]
[...] This trend is reflected in Oasis in lower proportions. We must also consider the MDD who are already present in a third of the market in supermarkets. The two distribution channels show differences in the distribution of PDM. GMS buyers are final consumers while buyers are out of home users (outlets) which sell to consumers. Purchasing behavior is therefore not the same. The consumer will be in the front line full assortment and will select a priority for Lipton Ice Tea brand, product quality, a wide range of flavors and sizes, or MDD for advantageous prices. [...]
[...] In addition, MDD wholesalers are hardly known to consumers ; so if they have a choice they prefer to take a great brand. The range of soft drinks being quite large, users prefer traditional products that sell the most, including: Coca-Cola, orange, Lipton ice tea and water. It will complement the choice (in smaller amounts) if there is place in the fridge and they can feel the demand from consumers. ⎫ The format: Retailers want standard formats and practices, again for reasons of storage in the fridge. [...]
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