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  • Subject Name : Management

Introduction to The Food Lover's Market Case Study

South Africa’s Food Lover’s Market is among the leading supermarkets in the country. With outlets across the country and other parts of the continent, not only is it leading in innovating fruit and vegetable supply bit is also setting an example of the effects of strong leadership, resilience, teamwork, and good company ethics and values. The company which started off small in the Cape region grew into Johannesburg and slowly to other parts of the country. It was through failure and initial hardships that owners Brain and Michael Coppin set put to venture on what would be the most innovative idea in the South African fruit and vegetable supply market.

In a succinct and precise manner describe the vision for Food Lover’s Market.

The Vision for Food Lover’s Market is simple – to start small and grow bit and providing clean and fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat directly from the farmers and main source to the consumers all throughout Africa. The Food Lover’s Market started off as a mere idea somewhere on the East Coast. The idea was simple, to bridge the gap between the farmer’s and the consumers – an idea like never before. The idea of completely cutting off the middle man by providing fresh supplies of fruits and vegetables to the every-day consumers was not yet an invested idea in 1993 South Africa (Kyalami, 2014). Through much trial and error and loss of funding, the Copplin brothers had finally hit the jackpot with his entrepreneurial innovation. It was through patience, entrepreneurial skills and innovation that the dream and vision of Fruit and Veg City could be realized. From a small shop in a little place in Cate Town to its expansion to Johannesburg and beyond, a lot contributed to the immense success of the idea of bringing farmer’s directly to the consumers.

The success of FLM can be measured in various ways including: improved financial statements, check customer satisfaction, generate an average of the number of new customer, conduct performance reviews, stay relevant and current in the market by continuously being innovative to meet the changing needs of the customer, etc. (Kappel, 2017). In trying to achieve the vision of expansion in all corners of Africa, the key hurdles that may be faced include the following: cultural differences, language barriers, countries not developed enough to shop from FLM as it mainly caters to the middle class. However, this can be achieved in various ways as stated in the case study. The Copplins physically visit the countries himself where he wishes to expand next and studied the culture first-hand on order to gain knowledge of the locals and their ways of life.

The business playing field is fairly favourable as the concept of FLM is unique and like no other in most parts of Africa. However, most parts of Africa are underdeveloped; hence, the prices will have to be kept at minimum profit since most consumer’s may not have the buying power.

Describe the role that leadership skills and qualities play in the journey and success of Food Lover’s Market.

If it were not for sheer determination and drive for a mere idea, Food Lover’s Market would today not have been realised neither by the owners nor by the South African public. The key to the success of the Food Lover’s Market lies in the personality, traits, and key leadership qualities of the entrepreneur. The key traits that played a significant role in this case were ambition, drive, ability to take risk (such as risking to expand in Johannesburg which eventually proved to be a major success. FLM received a far better response than anticipated), and ability to convince an investor in a mere idea. Also, the Copplin brothers’ love and passion for their business played a significant role in the success of Food Lover’s Market. An entrepreneur is not merely born an entrepreneur but rather is an opportunist who seeks the right time and right opportunity to strike. Even though ideas and initiatives such as OK failed, hope was not lost. By utilizing experience from various job profiles in business and marketing, the right knowledge and skill were out into making the Food Lover’s Market a grand success.

Taking it one step at a time instead of trying to expand all at once indicates patience which is an important leadership quality. Also, the ability to turn a crisis or failed situation into something to learn from and into something favourable is yet another quality which made Food Lover’s Market a success. Failure did not stop the Copplins but rather fuelled his drive to come up with better and improved ways to conduct business and by implementing each learning from all life lessons and failures. The expansion of the business depends on expert management which played a key role in deciding the right time for expansion. Being able to recognize the opportunity and time for expansion was a crucial part and important decision which greatly influenced the success of FLM.FLM was a tightly managed family business where regional managers would visit each outlet at least once a week to ensure everything is in check.

Describe how personal resilience supports the business success experienced by Food Lover’s Market.

As mentioned previously, the key to the success of Food Lover’s Market is ambition ad resilience. Sticking it out after hardships and failures and keeping the eye on the vision is what made Food Lover’s Market a success. While working in managerial posts at OK Bazaars, the Coppin brothers had much to learn about customer demand, and other finer nuances of business which they later utilized in their innovation. Trying to compete with an established business by providing the same products and services lead to a shortage of consumers because consumers are often loyal to established brands. Hence, after the failure of the supermarket venture in 1983, they key they had to come up with a different and new angle altogether if they wanted to make it big in the market. They failure with competing with OK Bazaars did not put them off. Instead, it gave them insight of what should be done and what should not be done. They took it as a learning curve and an opportunity to be innovative instead of breaking down (Bytestart, n.d.).

It was at this point that they decided to re-enter the market from the bottom of the supply chain as it is a new idea and not yet tried and tested by any other business. The Coppin brothers hereafter led the market with their innovation of pre-packaged fresh fruit and vegetable. By carving out a position between general retail and the farmer’s market, the Copplin brothers demonstrated entrepreneurial innovation. Their failure in 1983 did not stop them from being entrepreneurs but rather motivated them to come up with a viable idea and this demonstrates resilience.

What core competencies and capabilities do you believe the Food Lover’s Market team possess and which are crucial to develop in order to succeed on the path they have set forth in question 1. Motivate your answer.

The core competencies that exist in the team of the Food Lover’s Market are team work and dedication. Not only was management dedicated to their job but also ensured that things were up and running smoothly. Having regional managers pay site visits across outlets indicates dedication and sincerity. When the business idea started with Fruit & Veg City, the business was tightly managed. The managing director Brain Coppin along with the operational manager Michael Coppin both oversaw the rolling gout of new stores. This meant that higher position management was directly present and involved in the process of business expansion which led to the others working under them keep on their toe and work accordingly.

Teamwork has played an important role in the success and growth of Food Lover’s Market. Since it is a family business, it is taken care of dearly as owners are directly affected by the success and failure of their business. Also, providing adequate training to all team members from management to ground staff and then overseeing all operations personally or putting managers in place are important competency development measure taking the Food Lover’s Market team. Keeping track of business operations by various regional managers is important to ensure ground staff is not relaxed in business operations and is carrying out their tasks effectively.

Who do you believe are their key internal and external stakeholders and do they manage their expectations? What processes enable this?

Food Lover’ Market has both internal and external stakeholders. Internal stakeholders are entities within the business such as employees, managers and owners. External stakeholders, on the other hand, are stakeholders outside the business such as society/consumers, suppliers, creditors, shareholders, etc. (Pinheiro, 2015).The internal stakeholders of Food Lover’s Market are the owners, the employees and the managers. Internal stakeholders ensure they perform their work and duties efficiently since it will directly impact their employment. The owners revisit business plans, visions, policies and procedures so that it is kept updated with the latest trends and demands of the consumers. Failure to do so on the part of the owners may leave the business behind with the changing trends of the market. The managers of Food Lover’s Market ensure they oversee all operations and ensure their duties are fulfilled as this directly impacts their employment – failure of management is failure of the business which will impact the employment of not just theother employees but also harm the profit of the business and cause loss to owners.

The external stakeholders of the Food Lover’s market are the farmers (suppliers) and the society. Moreover, the government as well as shareholders are external stakeholders as well. The government expects the business to pay tax and the business expects suppliers to deliver goods on time to ensure that business operations run smoothly to produce profit to pay to the government in the form of tax. Furthermore, shareholders are directly affected by the profits and losses of the business as this impacts the share process they have invested in.

What “Shared Value” is Food Lover’s Market providing in their ecosystems that serve customers? Discuss this concept by referring to Shared Value principles and the different levels of Shared Value. Discuss if and how their view on value should be tailored to their local markets.

If businesses could stimulate the progress of society in every region across the globe, there would be an incredible decline in poverty, pollution, and disease and a rapid increase in corporate profit. Businesses, especially in recent years, have been investing in corporate practices in a way that also yields societal benefit. Shared Vale refers to a business strategy that not only provides the business with profit but also benefits1 the society while doing so. In other words, a business has a social corporate responsibility which needs to be fulfilled (Motilewa, Worlu & Agboola, 2016).

There are certain limitations for a business when operating within an ecosystem. No business works in isolation. Food Lover’s Market provides shared value to its ecosystem by introducing the farmers differently to the consumers. This increases the profit of farmers while also providing consumers with fresh and clean supplies. By cutting out the middle man, farmers gain recognition and a higher pay check. Farmers are among the most disadvantaged entities and by boosting their work and providing them with such opportunities, Food Lover’s Market provides Shared Value. Additionally, all produce and supplies are organic which means no harm has been caused to the environment.

Food Lover’s Market can improve their shared value by addressing the needs of the society in which they operate. For example, an out let operating in Hillbrow, Johannesburg can take initiatives to improve the crime levels in the region by addressing key issues leading the prevailing type of crime. Similarly, it can also donate and involve itself in imitative for creating awareness of child trafficking, terrorism and the educating the girl child in certain region of Nigeria.

Discuss why Shared Value is important. Discuss how Food Lover’s Market can address Shared Value with reference to employee value and the company’s culture and values.

Creating and implementing and effective shared value is important for all business organizations. Having shared value provides the business with guidance in terms of ethical practices. Shared values provide a compass to gauge the business’s ethical organizational action (Bockstette& Stamp, n.d.). Also, while shared value is often designed especially to cater to an external environment and the needs of the society it can also be used in reference to employee value and the overall value and culture of the company.

Shared value adds a moral and ethical constrict to the values of the company. Food Lover’s Market can address hared value for employees and company value and culture by reiterating the importance of professionalism, social corporate responsibility and morality in business and work practices. Incorporating shared value through team building exercises and promoting a friendly work culture encourages employees to work with a common interest in mind. Establishing a shared value with employees with help them work more effectively with each other because they will be sharing a common belief system. In order to establish shared value and a positive company culture and value, training and effective communication is imperative (NSCA, 2016).

The loyalty and sincerity of employees plays a major role in the success or failure of a business. Food Lover’s Market can establish a healthy relationship with its employees by encouraging loyalty and good ethics by providing occasional bonuses and rewards on good performances. This will keep employees motivated to perform while also ensuring business operations run smoothly.

Compare and contrast the approach taken by Food Lover’s Market’s top three competitors in creating and establishing their competitive advantage by using or not using the concepts of Shared Value. What are the advantages and disadvantages of their respective stance on their competitive advantage?

The primary competitors of Food Lover’s Market are Shoprite, Checkers and Woolworths Food. Among these, it is important to take note that Woolworth’s is originally an Australian company and has outlets in various countries across the world. Woolworths operates in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Singapore. As part of their shared value system, Woolworth’s ensures to take supplies from local suppliers in order to help local vendors (Woolworths Group, 2017). Woolworths also ensures that their stores remain relevant to the local customer needs such as catering to the cultural needs in regions of diversity. Shoprite, on the other hand, does not have a specified shared value system apart from the continued focus on lowering prices to be affordable to consumers (Shoprite, 2020). Unlike Woolworth’s and Food Lover’s Market, Shoprite does not mention any specifications of cultural needs being catered to in different regions where its outlets operate. Both Woolworths and Food Lovers Market have similarities in their shared value approach. To study the needs of the locals and cater to their needs accordingly may be the reason behind their cross boarder success.

However, Shoprite may slack behind in this regard. Also, an advantage that Food Lover’s Market also its innovative idea of fresh supplies directly from the farmers which is an idea which Checker’s also seems to live by. Checker’s and Food Lover’s Market both aim to bridge the gap between the two and aim to cater to the needs to the consumers while gaining profit. Also, this approach put farmers and local dealers at a greater benefit as it provides them with stability and greater income.

Conclusion on The Food Lover's Market Case Study

Food Lover’s Market started doff in 1993 and spread out to the rest of the country. Today, it is among the leading supermarkets in South Africa among Shoprite, Checker’s, and Woolworths Food. Food Lover’s Market is strictly managed by appointed regional managers who visit regional outlets once a week. Additionally, since it is a family business, managed is personally invested in ensuring its success. FLM gives back to the society by cutting the middle man and providing greater profit to local farmers. By using local suppliers, they enrich local economies and communities.

References for The Food Lover's Market Case Study

Kappel, M. (2017).6 ways to measure small business success. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2017/03/08/6-ways-to-measure-small-business-success/#53e6afb418f4

Motilewa, D., Worlu, R. &Agboola, M. (2016).Creating shared value: A paradigm shift from corporate social responsibility to creating shared value.International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, 10(8), 2443-2448.

NSCA. (2016). Establishing shared values and ethics. Retrieved from https://www.nsca.org/establishing-shared-values-ethics/

Woolworths Group. (2017). Creating shared value with our customers. Retrieved from https://wow2017cr.qreports.com.au/home/prosperity-founded-on-trusted-relationships/creating-shared-value-with-our-customers.html

Shoprite. (2020). Our purpose and values. Retrieved from https://www.shopriteholdings.co.za/group/our-purpose-values.html

Kyalami. (2014). The history behind Food Lover’s Market. Retrieved market https://www.kyalamionmain.co.za/the-history-behind-food-lovers-market/

Bockstette, V. & Stamp, M. (n.d.).Creating shared value. Retrieved from https://www.sharedvalue.org/sites/default/files/resource-files/Shared_Value_Guide.pdf

Pinheiro, R. (2015). The role of internal and external stakeholders. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/300798730_The_Role_of_Internal_and_External_Stakeholders

Bytestart.(n.d.). Why building resilience in your workplace is good for business. Retrieved from https://www.bytestart.co.uk/resilient-workforce-business.html

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