The dairy products sector is dominated by imports mainly due to inefficient small holdings within the sector and severe under-capitalization. Despite a good supply of local milk, imports of processed dairy products account for more than 70% of locally consumed products. Kosovo imports around €25- 30 million of dairy produce annually, mainly UHT milk, yogurt, fruit yogurt, butter, white cheese and yellow cheese. About 80 per cent of its imports come from the EU, mainly from Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Germany.
The sector provides attractive opportunities for import substitution by investment in modern equipment, techniques and product branding.
With better marketing strategies these products could be produced locally at a price that is lower than the foreign competitors, but at the same time generates jobs and improves the welfare of Kosovar citizens. Therefore, in a time when we have continuous global trade homogenization, the protection and/or support of local businesses are not only patriotic, but could also contribute to the development of the local economy as a whole. Moreover, the support of local businesses keeps the earnings within the country and contributes to the development of entrepreneurship and job creation.
Local producers are faced with huge competition from the European Union producers of dairy products, some of them, such as producers from Slovenia and Croatia, have had a very good positioning into the Kosovo market in the past, and others from Italy, Hungary and Germany have also positioned themselves very into the Kosovo dairy products sector. Thus, local producers are interested in improving their marketing strategies toward sustainable growth and import substitution.
In order to improve their position into the market and to change the perception of domestic customers towards locally produced dairy products, managers of dairy products have contacted Universum College to conduct a field study regarding the improvement of marketing strategies to the better marketing strategies that will change customer perception and will improve sales firstly in the domestic market and later to expand into the regional markets which will lead to sustainable growth, substitution of imports, increased sales and reducing of unemployment.
You have been chosen to conduct a field study at a dairy products producers, where you will spend 35 working hours within a 1 month period. You will meet with the marketing directors of the different local producers to obtain information regarding the marketing strategies implemented by them and also you will meet dairy product customers throughout the country to gain an opinion /perception regarding the quality of local dairy products and differences compared to similar products from the sector which are imported.
At the end of the field research, you are to produce a report with your findings and recommendations that the organization could undertake to improve its competitive ability vs. Importers of milk products by implementing better marketing strategies toward sustainable growth and import substitution.
The final report will also be presented in front of other students and representatives from the dairy sector and stakeholders involved in the process.
Field research is a vital source of knowledge, as it provides students with first-hand practices of the real world. That is why this learning material aims at providing students with an unconventional platform of learning about a subject matter. Through field work, students will be able to differentiate between different types of strategies implemented by local dairy producers and their effect on sales.
This form of learning will provide students with the necessary tools to critically analyze the subject matter and provide concrete recommendations on how to improve marketing strategies that will lead to sustainable growth and import substitution.