The marketing of functional foods on the Danish market: Coca Cola Light Plus

Julie Katrine Kjellberg

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this master thesis is to open up for the entry of functional foods on the Danish market through an understanding of the Danish consumers’ attitudes towards such products. Functional foods are gaining easier access to the Danish market due to a harmonization in regulations across the European Union. But while foreign countries have had functional foods on their shelves for a long time, a restrictive Danish legislation has resulted in very few products on the market. This legislation could have had an impact on the Danish consumers’ attitudes towards functional foods. These attitudes are therefore researched in a qualitative as well as a quantitative study to discover the implications they pose for the marketing of a particular functional soft drink that reached the supermarkets’ shelves in January 2009; Coca Cola Light Plus. Coca Cola Light Plus’ current strategic strategy is analyzed through its advertising material to gain an understanding of how The Coca Cola Company approaches this new product category. Henceforth in-depth interviews with 6 consumers were conducted to discover the underlying reasons for their attitudes towards functional foods. These interviews provided the basis for a questionnaire survey that included respondents in the whole of Denmark in the age group 20-65 years of age. The results of these research studies show that the youngest age group is the one that is most positive towards functional foods as they register a low negative attitude towards them. Among other things the results also show that there is distrust in food manufacturers’ ability to produce functional foods among the older population and that neither age group felt a need for functional foods because they believed that their vitamin intake was already well covered. These results are taken into account when laying out a marketing and branding strategy for Coca Cola Light Plus that is more in tune with the attitudes of the Danish population towards functional foods. The marketing mix should be structured so that the product benefit becomes clearer in order to drive up category need while a price level that is equal to ordinary soft drinks should be maintained. Furthermore a healthier positioning will have a positive effect on the attitudes towards Coca Cola Light Plus.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2010
Number of pages117