Minor Markets, Major Money: Considering Niche Marketing Opportunities In Jamaica

The recent  move by Jamaica Broilers to provide “free range chicken” is the kind of innovative, on the pulse thinking that many think a waste, but which really distinguishes a brand.

Chicken Attack

How do you feel about niche marketing? Have you considered its viability? Do you think, like most people, that the only way to make money on a large scale is to focus on the most popular products, for the most popular groups?

Ginger

The recent ginger debacle in which Jamaica missed a half  billion US in exports is a clear sign that Jamaica has been majoring in the major too often. Yes MAJOR. Why, even Jamaican coffee, which is among the most highly sought in the world, is under produced while the “major” products  like tourism (which does not earn as much as we think), get all the focus and governmental investment.

I have two cases on niche marketing for you to consider today. Hopefully you will see that broader isn’t always better.

Jamaica Broilers and the 1 Percent

Free Range Chickens. Chicken, Tender Chicken!

CEO Chris Levy noted that move, which will cost more than rearing chickens in the ordinary commercial fashion, is aimed at satisfying only 1 percent of his market.

As unimportant as that 1 percent may appear, there are significant benefits in store for Jamaica Broilers. For example:

  1. The one percent will include mainly “high-end supermarkets and hotels.” Essentially, people who care deeply about what they eat, and are willing to pay the cost to support their convictions.
  2. Jamaica Broilers is cultivating unmatched brand loyalty – as the only producer of free range chickens, it ensures that even if every consumer decides to buy from its competitor on a given day, there will be at least 1 percent who have no alternative.
  3. Jamaica Broilers is opening unprecedented doors for themselves.  Jamaica Broilers is currently “the only regional company outside the US and Canada to have a farm that has been audited by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP).” I’m not sure what the chicken export market is like, but if there were a need for birds to be exported to the United States or Canada, which company in the Caribbean do you think would be most sought after to supply?

Another Niche Market to Consider

How serious are you about making money? Serious enough to raise horses for slaughter? You may not eat horse, but approximately 5 million horses are slaughtered in the top eight countries that eat horse meat every year.

Horse Meat! - Is Caymanas a gold mine?

 

Recently, a ban on the slaughter of horses for consumption was lifted in the United States and naturally all the facts were put on the table. It was noted that, if there are no encumbrances, the US could eventually be slaughtering “as many as 200,000 horses a year.” Not for US citizens however, but for export “to Europe and Asia, where [horse meat] is treated as a delicacy.”

Stop Horsing Around

The prospects after the ban got me thinking. Why not Jamaica? Why can’t we join the bandwagon? Could there really be money to be made from raising horse for slaughter? Could we do it competitively?

We could do it competitively. Currently there are no restrictions in Jamaica (to the best of my knowledge) on the rearing and slaughter or horse for consumption. The government’s radar is nowhere near the issue. Fewer restrictions generally mean fewer costs.

The venture could be quite profitable – horse meat for export was a US$65 million industry before the band 5 years ago. A comparable earning range may be appealing to some, considering that not many farmers would enter the field – allowing a greater portion of the pie per player.

Is there a particular niche market that you think Jamaican entrepreneurs should jump at? 

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Andrew Wildes (@AndrewWildes), a law student, journalist and aspiring author. Read more about Andrew at MaximizeMyLife.

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