12 January 1996

New attitudes force a change to marketing

FARMERS must regard marketing as an essential tool and be fully aware of their customers demands, says a leading market analyst.

Bob Tyrrell, chairman of the Henley Centre for Forecasting, maintains that farmers can no longer produce goods with little or no regard for their final destination. In a paper produced for the Northern Milk Partnership, Mr Tyrrell says British consumer attitudes are changing at a scale and pace greater than ever before.

That offers opportunities for those who correctly identify consumers changing demands and respond to them with flexibility and imagination in their marketing.

Mr Tyrrell suggests consumer attitudes to price, quality and loyalty have changed. "Whereas people used to accept that they had to pay for quality, they now expect it and, at the same time, demand a lower price," he says.

Equally, while consumers used to make their discontent about a product or service known and get the supplier to put things right, they now simply walk away and go to someone else, Mr Tyrrell says.

All these changes will have a major impact on the food market. Mr Tyrrell urges farmers to concentrate on getting closer to those sectors of the market that will grow as a result of the changes. &#42