The rabbit breeding sector in Spain is highly homogeneous, with fully professionalised rabbit farms having made large investments in modernisation coexisting with smaller, less efficient traditional farms. The former focus more on modern distribution chains, whereas the latter sell through traditional butcher’s shops, and some have started innovating with value-added proposals, whereas others have not yet done so.
Despite these differences, everyone involved coincided on one basic fact – the need to increase sales and enhance the value of rabbit meat as a generic product, even more so following declining rabbit fur prices. The trade had the key to finding ways and means and strategies to achieve this: interprofessional union.
This union gave them the necessary resources, and a new Common Market Organisation (CMO) enabled them to multiply this value. The next step was to agree on strategic lines to be developed.
Sectoral strategic reflection.
For some time, this sector has used its union of forces to undertake advertising campaigns, focusing above all on a good press office, in which they transmitted the idea of rabbit meat as being healthy meat – a positioning we thought was good in view of its differentiation from others, but much too generalised and used by practically all meat producers. And from the strategic marketing viewpoint, they were not focusing on communication addressed to any particular market segment.
And from another standpoint, the occasional use of TV ads gave short-term results, but did not leave any “sediment”, i.e., no real differentiating positioning in consumers’ minds that would continue to act over the medium to long term – even without continued advertising – once the initial results had been achieved
Starting from here, we proposed that the trade should make a new approach using all possible roadways to reactivate the sector, including a new global vision and new advertising communication. We suggested that we sit down and reflect on strategies, with each participant giving their opinion of the strong and weak points of the trade, and the opportunities and threats they were facing. Bearing in mind all relevant, coinciding and realisable aspects, we drew up the current strategic action lines:
1º) Communication: The new communication campaign developed a message using the concept of healthy meat, occupying a unique positioning in its competitive environment as “the best meat for sportspersons”. This positioning was for consumers involved in sports but included all kinds of other people interested in healthy foods combined with some kind of sports activity, thus rejuvenating the target audience for rabbit meat.
2º) Innovation: Rabbit meat has a weak spot in that it has a meat to bone relation that makes it “poor in usable meat”. It would be of little use to rejuvenate the target audience if the product could not be adapted to the lifestyle and consumer habits of this group. Therefore, we opened up new action lines to develop new formats, new products in pre-prepared and pre-cooked formats, and product concepts that would suit new consumers, who have little time to cook and mostly live in small or single family units.
3º) Internationalisation: One of the strategic action lines identified in work sessions with the trade was a logical diversification of markets. In this sense, we drew up a plan for developing some of the most attractive international markets. First we undertook market research using our teams in the field and then we organised study missions with Spanish agents, accompanying them to get closer to and develop contacts with these new markets.