Volume 17 Part 1 Article 58
Title: Niche Marketing of Mushrooms in a Constantly Evolving and Developing Marketplace
Author: R. Greenblo
South Africa’s population in mid 2007 was estimated to be 47.9 million, with over 50% of the people aged under 25 and only 10% over 55. It is therefore clear that the challenge of introducing, marketing and promoting fresh cultivated mushrooms in a continuously evolving and developing market is substantial and provides a wonderful opportunity to grow mushroom sales. Adding to this complexity is the fact that the South African marketplace is also hugely segmented. It is highly diverse in terms of cultures, languages and culinary traditions and, on top of all this, mushrooms are relatively unknown to approximately 90% of the target audience.
This paper, presented on behalf of the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association, explores the South African mushroom marketing and promotion process, which continuously aims to create techniques in which the unmanageable whole can be broken down into smaller and more homogenous market segments. The detailed editorial messages that were shaped to alter, transform and commit media perceptions are examined, as are the innovative communication channels that were designed to speak to the hearts of the different market segments.
Finally, there is an evaluation of how nurtured media relationships and the extensive use of the product as a generic in editorial endorsements have resulted in a gearing of the media expenditure to the extent that the marketing process can generate a return on investment of at least 1:3.