Consumer expenditures for fast food in Singapore rose during the end of the year 2000, followed by the recovery of Singapore's economy. The increasing number of new establishments such as fast food franchises, fancy restaurants and gourmet bakeries around Singapore has shown a significant growth in this sector. Food spending is around 56% of total consumer expenditures in Singapore, and consumer spending on leisure and recreation made up of 13% of total consumer spending.
A much broader appeal exists for weekend slots because those are the days when most of our core target market enjoys the mall going activities.
Age - Youngsters, single, currently enrolled in college and high school.
Family unit - We will also appeal to families (young families) with children.
Gender - We will target both sexes, with a slight skew for males due to their lower attention to dietary concerns.
Income - We will appeal to the medium income individuals and to all in the lower medium income bracket.
Our concept will have very broad appeal. It is our goal to be the hip destination for fast food cravings.
According to a recent public survey of people 15 - 45 years old, 80% of those interviewed like fast food. 90% of them like fast food on a regular basis, and 10% of them claimed that they like fast food "very much," or "love" fast food. The survey also provided the following particular reasons for the increasing popularity of fast food:
People have 52 weekends and three long holidays a year. Most of Singaporeans love to window shop, and when they do strolling around the shopping district, they need a quick bite to accommodate their activities.
White-collar workers in offices have stopped bring lunch, and enjoy chicken, hamburger, pizza or other fast food joints in the vicinity.
Parents give more money to kids and students to buy lunch. Fast food is naturally their first choice, because of the brand building effort that heavily targets their age group.
Eating out still remains as Singaporeans' common habit of life. They do not perceive fast food is a luxury, and they enjoy it by bringing their family, especially if they have smaller kids, in the environment of the western-style fast food outlets.
4.1 Market Segmentation
We are targeting young Singaporeans as our primary market. Orchard Road is the place to meet and hang out after school. Due to heavy extra-curricular activities among Singapore's youth, it is common for high schoolers to have lunch inside shopping malls, and not at home. They tend to flock to fast food joints inside shopping malls across Orchard Road.
Our secondary market segment is the "Working Singaporeans." With so many shopping malls in the vicinity, Orchard Road is the haven for shoppers and job seekers alike. In the new Paragon Shopping Centre, there are more than 8,000 workers currently working as sales persons and boutique staff. There are more than 10 major shopping malls across Orchard Road, including Ngee Ann City, the biggest shopping mall in the nation, employing more than 50,000 workers.
Lastly, Orchard Road is also the destination for tourists staying in the area. The Meritus Mandarin, Crown Prince Hotel, the Hilton, and Popular Hotel are a few of the biggest accommodations in Singapore. Tourists will stroll Orchard Road, hunting for the latest trend in fashion and have no time to stop for a full meal during shopping. Fresin Fries is the alternative for a quick bite while shopping the fancy boutiques in the area.
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
Fresin Fries intends to cater to the bulk of teenagers and youngsters in Singapore. We have chosen this group for several important reasons. It is our goal to be "the extraordinary fast food place" and we believe that the age group from 15 to 25 is the primary age where brand building efforts could take place. They are on limited or fixed incomes and seek a value/price relationship that will not stretch their budgets.
Our secondary target is between the ages of 25 and 37, which are a heavy lounge/restaurant user group. They are more flexible in budgets and seek more than a value/price relationship.
Our lunch strategy is dual purposed. First, we are featuring fresh fries to fill Singapore's craving for fast food as most ideas of lunch is a quick bite not a heavy meal.
Second, we want to keep the price point at lunch as fair as possible to keep us in competition with other fast food outlets. At S$4.00 for a medium size fries, we are only slightly above the segment, but we offer much more excitement than the rest of the competition.
4.2.1 Market Needs
Fresin Fries sees our targeted market group as having many "makan" (eating) Singaporean Dollar needs. A recent Consumer Trend and Analysis by Euromonitor identified the following needs among our target markets. Our core group:
Wants variety and flavor in its food, preferably something fried
Looks for speed of service
Wants an entertaining and fun experience
Insists upon a clean, friendly, and attractive environment
Adopts a global lifestyle
Is computer literate
Enjoys eating out
Has an active lifestyle
Comes from various ethnic backgrounds
According to a GAIN Report published in 2000, potatoes are the second largest commodity of US exports to Singapore after fresh fruit, valuing almost USD $13 million per annum. This is caused by the increasingly younger demographic and rising incomes throughout Singapore that have led to lifestyle changes that are influencing consumer purchases, food, and entertainment choices. Some changes taking place include a larger professional class with more working women, which means greater disposable incomes.
4.2.2 Market Trends
In the past, Singaporeans preferred Western chain restaurants. This was the time when KFC, McDonald's, Long John Silver's and Pizza Hut were dominating most of the chains. But the trend seems to have shifted in the last decade, with the success of the locally grown brands, such as Bread Talk and Bee Che Hiang. Many of these local brands grew to become giant franchises that dominate the Southeast Asia region. For instance, Bread Talk controls 55% of Indonesia's bakery market.
The key to success for these foreign chains was mainly due to the popularity of Singapore as tourist destination for these countries. Tourists are the strongest "buzzer." Usually after they went back from vacationing in Singapore, they told friends and families about new things in Singapore, including new shopping malls, new boutiques, new restaurants, and new fast food joints. The fascination of Asian tourists coming to Singapore has positioned the city itself as an aspiration to modern life in the region.
Many local entrepreneurs camouflaged their retail stores as an international brand in accordance to what they sell. For instance, there is a local entrepreneur who created a Japanese name to sell yakitori (Japanese BBQ meat skewers), and there is a fashion boutique named after an old Italian movie.
4.3 Industry Analysis
Despite the prolonged effects of the Asian Economic Crisis followed by political turmoil up to mid 2001, Singapore's food service industry witnessed growth over 2000/2001 at 4 - 5% in terms of units and transaction (Euromonitor). Much of this growth was contributed by the cafes/bars, fast food, and food retail sectors, whose wide appeal amongst a young population, for whom time is of a premium, led to high levels of growth. This growth is underpinned by market demand and lifestyle changes, such as seeing eating out as part of trendy lifestyle.
Entry of major multi-national food service operators into major shopping destination in the late 1980s until the 1990s led to growth in competition in the marketplace, mainly from fast food chains. This stimulated the rise in the number of fast food units, both of international and local chains, that started in the early 1990s. Although there was a slowdown during the economic crisis in 1998, the food service industry recovered faster than others, particularly during 2000 and 2001. Recent bombing tragedies have also proven that negative effects on this sector are moderately short-term.
Franchising became popular in the food service industry through the introduction and entry of multi-national food service brands, primarily U.S.-owned enterprises, such as KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonald's. Currently, there are many local chains that have also experienced growth by applying this system to their operations.
4.3.1 Trends in Food Service Retail
According to government surveys, Singapore's spending on "eating out" is continuing to increase. Spending on cooked food as a percentage of total average food-spend reached 55% in 1998. The growth in spending in the food service sector arises from a number of factors:
Increased affluence amongst Singaporeans, especially those under the age of 40 years.
Increases in the number of expatriate residents, which has more than doubled since 1988.
Increased convenience-seeking amongst younger Singaporeans who live in a hectic city today compared to the much slower pace of life that existed 20 years ago.
When they want convenient cooked food, Singaporeans have long turned to the local hawker stalls, rather than prepared ready-to-cook or ready-to-eat processed convenience foods. As the numbers and variety of food service outlets has increased in Singapore, locals have adopted the convenient products of other food service outlets, especially the fast food outlets, as alternative sources of convenient cooked food. Younger middle and upper income group families and individuals are also frequent users of the full service restaurants, modern-style coffee shops and cafés that now exist all across Singapore.
Over the past 5 years, there has been a general upgrading in the food service sector which has seen the establishment of more air conditioned food centers (food courts) that are considerably cleaner than the traditional hawker markets. At the same time, increased investment from foreign and local businesses in the sector has also produced an increase in the numbers of:
Foreign chains, including chains such as Outback Steakhouse.
Modern retail bakery/café outlets such as Bread Talk.
Modern coffee shops such as Starbucks.
4.3.2 Competition and Buying Patterns
The competition in this arena is the fiercest in all other metropolitan areas in SE Asia. Singapore is a compact city, but has a lot to offer. Usually there are a minimum of two of the same outlets within a radius of less than 300 meters. For instance, Bread Talk opens one outlet inside the Ngee Ann City Shopping Centre and another just across the street inside the Far East Plaza Shopping Centre. It is quite common for retailers to implement this kind of strategy, due to the high volume of people strolling around the main area of Orchard Road.
Another reason is because many retailers do not want to lose sales opportunity, as the competitors are offering substitutions and similar product categories. This phenomenon has made Singapore the best place to shop. If you just missed Häagen Dazs waffle at CK Tang Shopping Mall, there is another Häagen Dazs across the street at the new Paragon Shopping Centre.
4.3.3 Main Competitors
Our main competitors in this segment are any food outlets within the 300 meter radius along the Orchard Road. In our location, there are Tori-Q, Pizza Walker, Starbucks, Bread Talk, and Rotiboy.
Tori-Q Tori-Q is locally owned franchise who sells Japanese BBQ skewers. Established in 1998, Tori-Q had expanded its operation into neighboring countries, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Tori-Q is popular among local teenagers as it offers fast service to its customers. Commonly, Tori-Q outlets are rather small, and can only serve a maximum of 6 guests. It is a choice for those who are in a hurry and would like to grab a quick lunch on the way.
Pizza Walker Pizza Walker is a joint venture positioned as gourmet pizza joint in Singapore. Most of its retail outlets are decorated with welcoming ambience, such as flowers and see-through kitchens. Pizza Walker is a good place to hang out, and the place is always full during lunch hour. It has more than enough tables to serve a maximum of 55 guests. Its specialty is all-you-can-eat pizza!
Starbucks Starbucks' strategy entering the lunch market had made some impact in Singapore. Usually, a lunch menu in Singapore consists of "fried and BBQ stuff" such as roast pork with rice or the Big Mac. Starbucks is one of the first food retailers that popularized "light and healthy" alternatives such as salad or lean sandwich as an options for Singapore's lunch accommodations.
Bread Talk As the most successful franchiser in Singapore, Bread Talk is surely becoming a threat for most food retailers. Bread Talk not only rented most of the retail space along Orchard Road, but now they are doing delivery to offices and apartments nearby. Bread Talk outlets usually consist of a huge see-through kitchen, and bread trays ready for pick-up by customers, with three or four cashiers at front, to speed up the queue. Rumor has it that Bread Talk sold more than 35,000 breads each day in just one of their retail outlets.
Rotiboy A Malaysian franchise. Rotiboy is quite popular in the region as it is now expanding into several cities in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. Rotiboy offers simplicity for quick lunch franchiser, and often considered alternatives for its long queueing rivals.
4.3.4 Foreign Vs. Local Franchising
Around 40% of the franchises operating in Singapore are foreign. Home grown franchises are still in their maturing stages as they start to expand globally. Franchises from the U.S. account for 65% of foreign brands, with big players such as KFC, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, etc. Due to high capital investment, Singapore conglomerates tend to dominate the industry.
Home grown franchises are more often sought more by young entrepreneurs than are their Western counterparts, as they offer greater flexibility and lower franchise fees to operate. Unlike Western license holders, home grown franchises are more efficient in the overall supply chain management as the basic raw ingredients are commonly found anywhere in the region.