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.
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