Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Advantages Weigh out Obstacles -Taking an International Concept to the States

While many franchise concepts grow within the Unites States and then expand internationally, not many take the opposite approach, such as we did at Oil & Vinegar. Launching an international concept in the food industry here in the states has its obstacles. US requirements surrounding product packaging and labeling, customs regulations, consumer preferences, and business practices in general are all areas where differences impact how our international model is applied in the US market. Now that most of these hurdles have been cleared, we possess a huge competitive advantage toward dispersing through the U.S.

With the overflowing number of chains flooding our streets, whether it be fast-food, fast-casual, or coffee, burger or sandwich chains –they all resemble each other in being “American” and in many cases, a copy of one another. With Oil & Vinegar, we offer a concept that diverts from our fellow franchised brands, we have a unique place in the market. Customers visit us for an international experience and because they know that we can transport them to a global atmosphere.

Taking a global concept to the states requires important systems to be put in place and ensure that products/services are properly adjusted to meet the consumer, as well as regulatory, requirements. Holidays, consumer behavior and taste, retail competition and other country-specific market factors differ from one country to the next requiring us to adjust our marketing campaigns and product selection/ introductions from our European colleagues. The greater number of formal and informal holidays celebrated here in the USA offer us a significant opportunity to exploit the gift proposition aspect of our business model, but also the home use component. Most holidays are centered around food and gifts, where Oil & Vinegar is a great source for both. Whether it be Independence Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, or various birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, summer BBQ’s, dinner parties—these are all occasions where gourmet food is a key ingredient.

While our franchise does have challenges being an international concept with products and ingredients from all parts of the world we know that this is what makes us different and stand out among competition. We also have come into a market that is almost vacant and we are happy to be able to fill this sector for our consumers who are excited about delicious spices, herbs, sauces, dips, vegetables, pastas, and products and service that cannot be found anywhere else. This is what makes us unique, as a business owner you should ask yourself what makes you stand out.

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