Over the past few decades America has been noticing a weight problem. Even though society has come up with the idea that everyone must be thin to be beautiful, almost two thirds of the United States is considered to be obese. Throughout these past few decades there have been several diet fads, exercise techniques and get thin quick schemes. When a good one comes along, it seems that it is all you hear about. The reason for this is that the environment will effect organizations. An organization must understand the environment and other competing threats.

They must find out how the external environment is affecting consumers, design competitive structures and strategies, position their products and then use effective promotion and advertising strategies. The latest diet craze is the Atkins diet. It is a weight loss plan that subtracts most of the carbohydrates from a persons’ normal eating habit. Although there are tons of carbs in breads, pastas and potatoes, many of the carbs a person will intake is from snacks. Within the last year or so, junk food producers have been catering to low-carb customers. One snack substitute that has done very well is a chocolate bar called Z-Carb. Since reaching 7-Eleven’s shelves in June, the Z-Carb has sold almost as well as Nestli??’s venerable and heavily marketed Butterfinger candy bar” (Time).

Diet food producers are filling in substitutes for almost any snack food or beverage they could want. The idea of low-carb intakes came from Dr. Robert Atkins in the ’70s. He said that fatty foods wasn’t the main problem for weight gain, it was the carbohydrates. When deprived of carbohydrates, the body will burn off more fat. Since his death last April, prepackaged Atkins friendly diet foods have been hitting the shelves like mad.

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The snack foods taste good while adding sugar substitutes such as erythritol. The sociocultural environment has been pressuring consumers to be thin and healthy. This pressure is causing organizations to become more health oriented and produce goods that tailor to the needs of this expectation. In some other countries and in the past it is considered culturally acceptable to be overweight and actually some thought it was more attractive. One way an organization to keep up with the environment is by doing environmental scanning. As consumer attitudes and behaviors change, the organization must adjust to fit those needs.

The consumer attitude as of now is really focused on the problem of losing weight. The Atkins diet has become a widespread solution to this problem. There are three types of competitive response to the environment and other organizations. There is a nonresponse (or slow response), there is a fast response, and there is a focused response. As the Atkins diet seems to be taking over the food industry, the organization must choose whether they want to jump on the bandwagon or stick with their strong base products. As a consumer, I am seeing organizations using all three types of competitive response.

Major candy companies such as Hershey and Nestle have not really done anything to keep snack food market share from diet companies. They must feel that the craze will not last long enough to put much effort into introducing Atkins friendly chocolates. Soda companies have not responded to the competition yet either. These organizations must keep an eye on the competitive environment if this low carb diet lasts. The producers making the Z-Carb snack bar definitely put research and resources into this substitute product as with the chip and ice cream products.

They used a focused response that seems to have worked for them. Not all products will do well in this market and simply taking out sugar altogether will not leave a very tasty treat. Subway released a new kind of sandwich that is considered to be Atkins friendly. It is a tortilla wrap with all the same meat and vegetables without the carbohydrates of the bread. This action was marketed in a way that not only decreases the bread, but also made the sandwich into a whole new product. They could have also marketed salads, which would have less carbs without the bread although salads are harder to take on the go.

Co-branding with a fitness center such as advertising together or offering discounts on gyms if you eat at subway could be effective. In the past few months there has been several fast responses to this Atkins craze. Burger King and Carl’s Jr. have introduced bunless burgers. They contain the same burger and all the fixings but without the bun. Although it is very new, it seems to be catching on. It seems as though this product does not really offer anything to the consumer except the fact that the fast food restaurants are aware of the Atkins diet.

I don’t think it took very much thought to create this product since basically a person could have gotten their burger this way before they started advertising it. The bunless burger will only go so far before people want something more than just a burger and lettuce. Fast food places need to come up with some variation such as low-protein shakes or maybe some sort of stir-fried mix of vegetables and chicken. They need something other than bunless burgers to keep the market of Atkins dieters very long. Product repositioning may also be used as an effective tool as a competitive advantage.

This can be useful when the consumer preferences have changed such as with this diet and people wanting fewer carbohydrates. As discussed in the article, beer companies have taken a toll with this Atkins diet because of the large amount of carbs. Miller Lite and Michelob Ultra have used advertising to increase awareness of how much fewer carbs they have than other beers. Miller Lite has used commercials to show that their beer not only has less carbs but also doesn’t affect taste. They have been quite successful in their marketing strategy in capturing the market that is on this train of Atkins friendly products.

I believe that part of the reason Miller Lite has done so well is because they have the brand equity already, and are only accentuating the fact that they have less carbs. When an organization looks at this relatively new idea of the Atkins diet, they must question whether or not it will last. There are 25 million followers right now, which is close to ten percent of America. That is a very large portion of the market whether it is your target market or not. If the diet is expected to last, it will affect the market place.

Focused responses to the environmental change will likely be more effective in the long run rather than fast responses and those who did not respond will probably lose a lot of their market share. Advertising can be used to change the views a consumer has about a product although may not last, partially because consumers get tired of hearing about an idea. Personally I have friends that are sick of it. I don’t believe that the Atkins diet will be as successful as it is right now for very long. Based on facts of the diet, once a person comes off of it, they will gain back a large portion of the weight they lost.

Another big fad will come along soon or people will just lose interest. If I were a manager of a fast food organization or snack food company I would not put a lot of resources into this Atkins market. The fast response method such as using advertising to change the position of an existing product or just slightly modifying the product to fit the needs of the consumer seems to be working for many companies. If the consumers want more, then another slight modification may be done. All in all, there is definitely a change in the way America is eating and it will change more as organizations adjust to the health conscious environment.

Over the past few decades America has been noticing a weight problem. Even though society has come up with the idea that everyone must be thin to be beautiful, almost two thirds of the United States is considered to be obese. Throughout these past few decades there have been several diet fads, exercise techniques and get thin quick schemes. When a good one comes along, it seems that it is all you hear about. The reason for this is that the environment will effect organizations. An organization must understand the environment and other competing threats.

They must find out how the external environment is affecting consumers, design competitive structures and strategies, position their products and then use effective promotion and advertising strategies. The latest diet craze is the Atkins diet. It is a weight loss plan that subtracts most of the carbohydrates from a persons’ normal eating habit. Although there are tons of carbs in breads, pastas and potatoes, many of the carbs a person will intake is from snacks. Within the last year or so, junk food producers have been catering to low-carb customers.

One snack substitute that has done very well is a chocolate bar called Z-Carb. Since reaching 7-Eleven’s shelves in June, the Z-Carb has sold almost as well as Nestli??’s venerable and heavily marketed Butterfinger candy bar” (Time). Diet food producers are filling in substitutes for almost any snack food or beverage they could want. The idea of low-carb intakes came from Dr. Robert Atkins in the ’70s. He said that fatty foods wasn’t the main problem for weight gain, it was the carbohydrates. When deprived of carbohydrates, the body will burn off more fat. Since his death last April, prepackaged Atkins friendly diet foods have been hitting the shelves like mad.

The snack foods taste good while adding sugar substitutes such as erythritol. The sociocultural environment has been pressuring consumers to be thin and healthy. This pressure is causing organizations to become more health oriented and produce goods that tailor to the needs of this expectation. In some other countries and in the past it is considered culturally acceptable to be overweight and actually some thought it was more attractive. One way an organization to keep up with the environment is by doing environmental scanning. As consumer attitudes and behaviors change, the organization must adjust to fit those needs.

The consumer attitude as of now is really focused on the problem of losing weight. The Atkins diet has become a widespread solution to this problem. There are three types of competitive response to the environment and other organizations. There is a nonresponse (or slow response), there is a fast response, and there is a focused response. As the Atkins diet seems to be taking over the food industry, the organization must choose whether they want to jump on the bandwagon or stick with their strong base products. As a consumer, I am seeing organizations using all three types of competitive response.

Major candy companies such as Hershey and Nestle have not really done anything to keep snack food market share from diet companies. They must feel that the craze will not last long enough to put much effort into introducing Atkins friendly chocolates. Soda companies have not responded to the competition yet either. These organizations must keep an eye on the competitive environment if this low carb diet lasts. The producers making the Z-Carb snack bar definitely put research and resources into this substitute product as with the chip and ice cream products.

They used a focused response that seems to have worked for them. Not all products will do well in this market and simply taking out sugar altogether will not leave a very tasty treat. Subway released a new kind of sandwich that is considered to be Atkins friendly. It is a tortilla wrap with all the same meat and vegetables without the carbohydrates of the bread. This action was marketed in a way that not only decreases the bread, but also made the sandwich into a whole new product. They could have also marketed salads, which would have less carbs without the bread although salads are harder to take on the go.

Co-branding with a fitness center such as advertising together or offering discounts on gyms if you eat at subway could be effective. In the past few months there has been several fast responses to this Atkins craze. Burger King and Carl’s Jr. have introduced bunless burgers. They contain the same burger and all the fixings but without the bun. Although it is very new, it seems to be catching on. It seems as though this product does not really offer anything to the consumer except the fact that the fast food restaurants are aware of the Atkins diet.

I don’t think it took very much thought to create this product since basically a person could have gotten their burger this way before they started advertising it. The bunless burger will only go so far before people want something more than just a burger and lettuce. Fast food places need to come up with some variation such as low-protein shakes or maybe some sort of stir-fried mix of vegetables and chicken. They need something other than bunless burgers to keep the market of Atkins dieters very long. Product repositioning may also be used as an effective tool as a competitive advantage.

This can be useful when the consumer preferences have changed such as with this diet and people wanting fewer carbohydrates. As discussed in the article, beer companies have taken a toll with this Atkins diet because of the large amount of carbs. Miller Lite and Michelob Ultra have used advertising to increase awareness of how much fewer carbs they have than other beers. Miller Lite has used commercials to show that their beer not only has less carbs but also doesn’t affect taste. They have been quite successful in their marketing strategy in capturing the market that is on this train of Atkins friendly products.

I believe that part of the reason Miller Lite has done so well is because they have the brand equity already, and are only accentuating the fact that they have less carbs. When an organization looks at this relatively new idea of the Atkins diet, they must question whether or not it will last. There are 25 million followers right now, which is close to ten percent of America. That is a very large portion of the market whether it is your target market or not. If the diet is expected to last, it will affect the market place.

Focused responses to the environmental change will likely be more effective in the long run rather than fast responses and those who did not respond will probably lose a lot of their market share. Advertising can be used to change the views a consumer has about a product although may not last, partially because consumers get tired of hearing about an idea. Personally I have friends that are sick of it. I don’t believe that the Atkins diet will be as successful as it is right now for very long. Based on facts of the diet, once a person comes off of it, they will gain back a large portion of the weight they lost.

Another big fad will come along soon or people will just lose interest. If I were a manager of a fast food organization or snack food company I would not put a lot of resources into this Atkins market. The fast response method such as using advertising to change the position of an existing product or just slightly modifying the product to fit the needs of the consumer seems to be working for many companies. If the consumers want more, then another slight modification may be done. All in all, there is definitely a change in the way America is eating and it will change more as organizations adjust to the health conscious environment.

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