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Essay: Tabasco (advertising recommendations – inc. SWOT)

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  • Subject area(s): Marketing essays
  • Reading time: 9 minutes
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  • Published: 3 July 2019*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 2,407 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 10 (approx)
  • Tags: SWOT analysis examples

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The Tabasco brand is a brand famously known for their hot sauce and has been continued to dominate the hot sauce market for more than 100 years with 30% of the market. In 1865 McIlhenny used peppers from the Yucatan Peninsula to create his first ever hot sauce. He would even walk every day around the pepper fields, heavily inspecting the production of the peppers. He would even watch the bottles be shipped to ensure that it was done to his liking and standards. This became a daily routine for Henry and continued for four generations to personally see that everything regarding the production process was held to a certain standard. The process has not been altered much as they still use the best Mexican peppers, and ingredients for their sauces while continuing to oversee their vegetable production. Therefor, their pepper is difficult to recreate because the Tabasco brand uses the Central American Capiscum peppers in this process while mixing it with salt and vinegar and has to be aged in oaken vats a process that no one else does. Another factor of the family tradition is that the McIlhenny family has ever changed anything about their bottle or logo. There were not any changes within the Tabasco brand until 1973 when they created the Bloody Mary mix. Then again in 1982 they added the picante sauce.


The SWOT is an analysis of a product or company that focuses on its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
For the Tabasco Company a lot of its strengths lie upon brand loyalty and recognition since they have been in the market since 1865 and have not changed their logo or bottle. This makes their goods easily recognizable by bottle or logo and since they have been the driving force in the hot sauce market they have a lot of loyal customers. In another aspect, Tabasco prides themselves on their ingredients and authentic products. This leads them in authentic ingredients and products.
• High brand recognition- consistent bottle and logo
• Authentic product- ingredients grown and aged
• Leader in the hot sauce market since 1865
• High brand loyalty
Although they pride themselves on their product and ingredients they have weaknesses that can hurt them. The most prominent worry are the costs of importing and growing their peppers and other ingredients. They import them from Central America that would increase their costs and, in addition, they also have to age their pepper sauce for the right amount of time. All of this creates high costs of imports and time for ingredients to age. Along with this, the traditional process of aging takes a lot of time and in the midst of it salt and vinegar have to be added, which makes duplicating the recipe difficult. Also since they have remained the same for over a 100 years they have diversified their line regularly. It wasn’t until 1973 that they finally did, but they lack a diversified product line.
• High costs- time and ingredients to grow and age
• No diversity
• Difficult to make
• Doesn’t come out with new products regularly
As Tabasco has dominated the hot sauce market they have the opportunity to enter another market. With the new chili recipe, it opens the door for Tabasco to enter the chili market. This will increase their brand reach and gain more customers for the Tabasco brand. Another opportunity they have is to create new combinations of spices and sauces in the hot sauce market or another market. This will give their customers more options and show that Tabasco has the capability of expanding their line. This could also appeal to more customers if they prefer a certain flavor or not.
• Find another market to enter
• Find new combinations of spices and mixes
Any threats against Tabasco include anything that could decrease their influence in the hot sauce market and the accessibility to their ingredients. If a new competitor or a pre-existing one starts to lower their prices it will harm Tabasco. This will also be the case if they start to produce a different type of hot sauce that customers will enjoy. Another harmful situation would be if anything happened to their ingredients and peppers in Avery Island. If the weather prevents adequate water or harvesting it could increase the costs to produce their products. Another could be if their supplier exhibits a shortage of ingredients that will increase their costs or if their shipment is delayed and the transportation of the goods stops.
• New competition that has lower prices and costs to undercut Tabasco
• Bad weather or event that will harm the growth of ingredients
• Shortage of ingredients that will raise costs and thus prices
• Any event that could prevent transportation of use of ingredients


In the end, we would recommend that Tabasco utilize other spice chili recipes to diversify their product line regularly and enter another market similar to Chili. By diversifying their spice chili line they will garner more attention and boost sales as this gives customers the choice to buy more than just the typical spice chili sauce. Another recommendation would be to find another market to enter that is similar to chili and extend their brand reach towards other areas. This would spread their brand recognition and attract more customers, thus boosting their sales and reach.
Integrated Marketing Communication Theme
For our integrated marketing communications theme we decided on focusing on the authenticity of Tabasco’s chili ingredients and taste based on the SWOT analysis. We emphasized this because Tabasco’s 7-Spice Chili recipe involves a combination of seven secret herbs and spices that are grown on Avery Island. These include tomatoes, green chilies, diced onions, Tabasco sauce, peppers, and more. Some of these ingredients are aged, such as the red pepper sauce is aged in oak vats on Avery Island making it a one of a kind taste. By focusing on the ingredients used and their traditional methods to provide quality taste, customers will remember Tabasco and enjoy their spice chili recipe. With this Tabasco’s chili will be known as the most authentic spicy chili in the market. We plan to use this theme in the TV ad, radio ad, and sales promotion in a comedic, but memorable way. The theme will carry on Tabasco’s legacy of using only the best, authentic ingredients to make their chili. Customers will hear about this through the TV ads, radio ads, and sales promotion and remember the authentic, Avery island taste to warm their holidays.
Target Markets
Based on the SWOT analysis the target markets would have to include loyal customers and those who enjoy spices. It would also involve those who like Tabasco’s authentic products and ingredients. This would put the target markets in the range of women and men from age 18 to 50 and restaurants. Men and women in this age range enjoy spices and easy to use chili will buy the Tabasco 7-Spice Chili mix. For restaurants, especially Mexican restaurants, they use chili in most of their meals and want to appeal to the authentic Mexican taste, which is why they would want to use this chili. Another target market would be families because families enjoy a family meal and something that is easily made. Chili can be prepared for dinner without too much preparation and it can be used with just about everything, which makes it highly marketable towards families.
Women and Men, age 18-50
This market is being targeted because people within this age range enjoy spicy food. Chili is a well-known, and moderately priced product to satisfy anyone and it can be made quickly as well. It affects this market because these men and women most likely have been loyal customers of Tabasco and they have found that Tabasco’s spice is genuine and authentic to continue having it. This market will be targeted by TV ads and social media promotions as most of this audience is connected to the media. This way they will recognize it on the shelves from the TV ads and the advertisements on their social media feed.
This market is being targeted because this chili sauce is easy to prepare for dinner and something someone can pick up at the store if they are in a hurry. This way this market can get quality food in a small amount of time. The family will be targeted primarily through TV ads and sales promotions. The TV ads will expose them to the product while the sales promotions will aid them in looking for and buying the product when they are shopping.
This market is being targeted because restaurants, especially the Mexican ones, will use chili in their meals. This sauce will give an authentic taste of chili sauce to the customers and help that business thrive in their market. Customers may even come back if they enjoy the food as much or make it at home. While men, women, and families can be reached by TV ads and promotions, restaurants will be reached through a potential promotion of Tabasco’s 7-spice chili which would also aid in promoting the product to other potential customers and restaurants.
To promote the Chili sauce to the target markets such as men, women, and families, we created a TV ad that would increase appeal in the new chili sauce during the winter and how it can warm up your holidays. Below is an outline of the ad with “Let it Snow” by Andy Williams and “Summer in the City” by Jon Sebastion played in the background.
Man outside in the city, weather is cold and snowy. Man is wrapped up in multiple layers of clothing, waiting in line to get a hot dog from stand in the city. The man seems cold, miserable, and somewhat depressed. “Let it snow,” by Andy Williams plays in the background as the scene begins. When he receives the hot dog, he reaches for condiments, and sees a bottle of Tabasco Chili Sauce. Showing interest, he spreads the sauce on his hot dog and takes a bite.
The dark, snowy, cloudy day is dispersed with a ray of sunlight, signifying the immediate satisfaction of heat that comes from the Tabasco Chili Sauce. As the warmth comes, a new song plays, “Summer in the city – Lovin’ Spoonful” by Jon Sebastian.
He walks around town, removing layers of clothing. People around him are doing the same as well. As he is walking around, the trail behind him melts all snow, and the spread of warmth creates a warmer environment and climate. By the time he is a bite away from finishing his hot dog, many people, including himself, have removed their winter clothing and are in summer clothing, and the snowy, cold day is disbursed with comfortable, pleasurable sunlight and warm temperatures surrounding those around him. People are also happier, interacting with one another, as if there is a party, or a fiesta, in the city.
He stops to look around and see the change around him, smiles, and finishes the hot dog, where the camera stays in position. As he sees the changes, a voice over states “The Hot, legendary Chili Sauce…” and as he walks away, the camera stays in position, focusing on the Tabasco Logo, with the voice over saying “Tabasco Sauce: Warm up your holidays.” “For a limited time, buy one Tabasco Sauce, and get our new Chili Flavored Tabasco Sauce free.”
Radio Ad
For the radio ad we used the women and men target market to narrow down the content. We approached as someone on the way home and able to stop by their local grocer and get food that will bring a new experience to their meals. This will ensure everyone will love their meal and can’t wait to have it again, which also carries on our theme of authentic taste and ingredients. A male voice will speak as the theme song for “For a Few Dollars More” will play in the background for the ad. The man will pause and speak in the typical radio voice to catch the commuter’s attention and successfully promote the chili.
Wanna spice up your dinner? Are you tired of the same old herbs and spices on everything? Do you want more of a kick when you’re cooking up barbeque? Give Tabasco 7 Spice Chili Recipe a try. Tabasco’s freshly grown peppers and vegetables brings a whole new experience to your home cooked meals. They ensure that every meal experience will have a kick that everyone will remember. Check with your local grocer or online to give Tabasco 7 Spice Chili Recipe a try. To realize that all you need, is a little bit of Tabasco, it’ll make your food better, guaranteed!
Sales Promotion
Another way we aim to promote this sauce is to offer a sales promotion. With it we highlight where the ingredients are grown and the Tabasco taste that everyone loves to appeal to the target markets. This will encourage men, women, and families to buy the sauce and use it in conjunction with the radio and TV ads.


In conclusion, marketing the Tabasco 7-Spice Chili Recipe will be successful based off of the SWOT analysis, the integrated communication marketing theme, target markets, and the advertisements geared towards those markets. Based off the SWOT analysis, Tabasco carries a high level of brand loyalty and recognition since they have not changed their logo, bottle, or taste since 1865. This has let them dominate the hot sauce market and continue to be prosperous. They are also known for their Tabasco taste and traditional process of producing their sauces. They import peppers and other ingredients from Central America and grow them on their headquarters at Louisiana, Avery Island. They inspect their peppers every day and age them to make sure they are up to par with their standards. Based off their traditional process and their authentic Tabasco taste we decided to use the authentic taste and ingredients as the integrated communication theme of our advertisements. We also narrowed down the Chili Sauces target markets to women and men from 18 to 50, families, and restaurants. The sauce appeals towards those who like spicy food, food that can be prepared quickly, and food that tastes authentic. Our advertisements include a TV ad, radio ad, and a sales promotion to reach these target markets and successfully promote the Tabasco 7-Spice Chili Recipe.

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