The founhder of the company, Godfrey Keebler, started with jus a small bakery in Philadelphia, PA in 1853. During the next two generations, local bakeries popped up around the country, including Strietmann, Hekman, Supreme and Bowman. With the introduction of cars and trucks (carrying the Keebler logo), bakery goods could be distributed beyond the neighborhood and regional distribution began.
In 1927, United Biscuit Company of America was formed. By 1944, there were 16 bakeries in the network from Philadelphia to Salt Lake City and their cookies and crackers were marketed under a variety of brand names for the next 22 years.
Due to tremendous growth and modern business practices in centralized management, product consistency and quality, efficient use of facilities, cost control and mass advertising, the company needed to operate under one name. In 1966, Keebler was judged to be the most sound and memorable.
Over the years, Keebler has acquired several other producers of cookies and crackers (i.e., Bake-Line Products, Inc. The nations leading producer of private-label cookies and crackers in 1993; merger in June 1996 with Sunshine Biscuit Company now owned by Keebler Foods Corporation).
Keebler/Sunshine merger brought together two of the oldest and most respected names in the U.S. biscuit industry.
Keebler and products are sold in more than 75,000 retail outlets nationwide, including Puerto Rico and selected international markets. The Keebler company seems to have more than one target market. With variety of products they offer, the company appears to be targeting just about every segment of the population:
+ Parents of young children
+ Young adults
+ Older adults
+ People who enjoy snacking
+ People who enjoy sweets/deserts
The market segmentation is largely homogenous in that the segmented groups:
+ Are generally young children or adults who are relatives of young children
++ Starting at the age of 3 years old, and going up
+ People who dont have time to prepare foods all the time
+ Some brands target older people (i.e., Club Crackers, etc.)
Keebler, in maintaining success in the market, emplys the 4Ps as follows:
Product: The company produces a physical good Cookies/Crackers. In doing this, the company became diversified by the use of several product lines, not just one line of cookie or cracker. Also, in acquiring other businesses, the company thought it best to keep the originating firms brand name vice-carrying its name on the new product (i.e., Sunshine company). In thins regard, Sunshines Cheeze-It cracker line would not risk losing customers who are accustomed to that logo on the product or the name being used in association with the product. Also, in the packaging of most Keebler products, the company logo can be seen in some conspicuous corner of the packaging which is something that even the youngest of children can recognize once exposed to the cartoon commercials of Earnie (the Keebler Elf) and his friends. This is a big influential aspect of getting potential customers to purchase their products.
Place: Keeblers products can be found at virtually any location-Super markets, convenience stores, vending machines. The companies also (through special packaging and distribution) offer their products to be included in the variety of foods found in school lunches.
Promotion: The Keebler company created a marketing strategy to capture the attention of children and parents of young children by using Earnie Keebler and the Keebler Elves, who happen to work at the Hollow Tree baker. The elves who create uncommonly good products in a magic oven are among the best-recognized advertising characters in America thanks to the use of television (usually broadcasting their commercials during Saturday morning cartoons or weekday afternoon childrens programming).
Price: Because the products are produced in mass quantities, and are offered in sever types of packaging (i.e., Family sized, small economy sized, etc.), the purchasing costs appeal to the most meager income levels. The targeted segment is generally from the upper-poor to the middle class consumer. Keebler does have competition and because the company is so large and well recognized by American families, they can generally influence the standard for pricing in many areas of Cookie-Cracker snack foods.
The companys products, to me, appear to fall in the areo of Product Maturity. Basically because the products that are made and sold are not new; however, because the items are already baked and packaged, they offer convenience to customers who do not have the time to mix ingredients and bake it themselves. Also, for thos who have no cooking skills, it offers and easy way to acquire the snacks.
The environmental factors that affect consumer purchases are:
Cultural/Social The societys views of weight loss/weight gane where in the peoples desire to fit into a specific personal appearance area. Those who are rather over weight are probably less likely to purchase most of the products made by keebler. Also, economically, people are most likely to concentrate their spending more toward staples vice snack/junk foods. Only when there is an excess of money and the more important food items have been purchased, will consumers more readily purchase Keebler products.
Most of the direct information concerning specifics about the Keebler company was found online at the Keebler website.
Information on buying trends can be easily located in any marketing text.