Koppert Cress: Creation of New Markets

Koppert Cress: Creation of New Markets

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Koppert Cress, a Dutch horticultural company founded by Rob Baan, specializes in growing and selling micro-vegetables that promote health or prevent disease. It began business under the name Koppert Trading, before its acquisition by Baan in 2002. Baan redesigned the business model, has developed new products, expanded production capacity, invested in the latest technology, enlarged the work force, recruited talented managers, and made Koppert Cress a world-class player in the niche market in the gastronomic world. The company’s business model centres on innovative price-setting. Unlike other Dutch horticultural firms, Koppert Cress is detached from auctions that determine agricultural prices. It works on ‘imaginative’ pricing and sells its products at high premiums based on the unique added value they create for customers. Baan also established Cressperience, a multifunctional meeting centre with a demonstration kitchen furnished with state-of-the-art technology, where international chefs can try out new recipes with ingredients provided by Koppert Cress. Baan kept returning to the idea of expanding his business to the consumer market, a dream he had cherished since he went into the agriculture business 20 years earlier. He was undecided about whether he had the resources and capabilities to create better value for a mass market without disturbing his up-market niche customer base. Since the consumer market was more difficult to predict than the chef market, he needed to devise a strategy that minimized risk and would increase his chances of success.

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