Essay Writing Samples

MLA Marketing Plan on Hot Hauce

This MLA paper is a marketing plan for a Texas Pete Hot Sauce. It aims to answer whether or not Texas Pete can remain a popular choice for consumers in a constantly growing market through a series of new marketing and promotional efforts and a renewed strategy in positioning and branding. It examines the current target market and market segments, as well as attempts to find a market niche. This essay was written at an undergraduate level to serve as a sample for the Ultius blog.

Marketing Plan Part 1: Texas Pete Hot Sauce

The business that has been selected for this assignment is Texas Pete Hot Sauce, a cayenne pepper-based sauce maker that is a brand operating under the TW Garner Food Company corporate structure. Texas Pete is operated and marketed much like its own business even though it is a subsidiary of TW Garner and it was chosen largely because of the relatively recent craze among the consumer public for more hot sauce varieties and flavors in dishes being cooked around the world (Aubrey 1). The research question for this assignment will try to answer whether or not Texas Pete can remain a popular choice for consumers in a constantly growing market through a series of new marketing and promotional efforts and a renewed strategy in positioning and branding. The information that will be needed to make this effort effective will generally involve market demographics and data as well as industry sales numbers to determine if there are certain trends or patterns which warrant attention or consideration.

Did you know? A marketing plan is similar to a business plan?

The target market: young men

With this strategy in mind, it is important to better examine a primary decision maker in our consumer base for a hypothetical investigation into their needs. In this case the consumer would be a young male between the ages of 18-29 who has a penchant for spicy flavors and has no dietary restrictions preventing him from trying new sauces with his food. This consumer may be looking for a sauce that is both spicy enough to make his dishes have a little extra zest while still being flavorful. Many of the recent sauce additions to the culinary world focused on spice have emphasized the “hot” aspect of their flavor profile while ignoring other aspects such as tang and zest. Texas Pete could offer a solution to this problem facing the theoretical consumer who wants to find a sauce he can pair with any meal by focusing on their own mild flavor of sauce.

Segmenting the hot sauce market

This hypothetical situation suggests that Texas Pete can remain relevant in this industry even as more “extreme” options begin to reach the public. What the brand must next do now that they are aware of this potential opportunity (found through a SWOT analysis) is pinpoint several demographics which would be most interested in the offerings that the brand currently has. Segmenting the general market into different groups can be somewhat tricky but one category of consumer that Texas Pete should consider is based on regional differences in appetite and custom. While some Midwestern consumers may be less inclined for spicy foods, Americans living in the South have a long history of consuming hot sauce and peppers and they should remain the focal point geographically for the brand moving forward.

In addition to this, Texas Pete may also want to refer to evidence suggesting that minority groups in the US are also more approving of hot flavors in their food including African Americans and Hispanics in particular (Staff 1). Focusing on reaching out to these demographics based on some ethnic or cultural connections would be a savvy move by Texas Pete. Lastly, the company should also emphasize sales for male consumers over females due to evidence that males are more inclined to purchase hot sauces and that Texas Pete is packaged in a way that clearly suggests it is a “male”-oriented food with the cowboy on the front and the emphasis on flames and the whip in his hand moving about in a wild manner (Lange 1). While Texas Pete should try to appeal to all demographics of consumers, emphasizing certain groups who are already inclined to buy their product would certainly not hurt the brand’s success.

Want to see a similar example? Check out this market analysis on Dove soap.

Marketing niche: the secret sauce

Determining a market niche can be difficult as the brand may not want to make their appeal narrower by focusing on one aspect of the entire market. With that being said, the ability to find a niche and hold onto it can be extremely profitable if done correctly and Texas Pete is in a wide enough industry that there is no way it can simply continue to compete by maintaining a generalized and vague marketing plan. For this scenario, it has been decided that Texas Pete is going to focus specifically on consumers who want a mild hot sauce option.

The emphasis on extreme sauces that are coming out more and more has saturated that market and Texas Pete can position itself as a contrasting sauce that provides something different as a result. The positioning statement for the new marketing plan will be, “To those who love a little kick in their flavor, Texas Pete is the only hot sauce that can pair with all your meals, regardless of day or time, because it brings your dish some subtle heat with bit-time flavor.”

Describing the brand that Texas Pete wishes to embody moving forward is actually a fairly simple proposal. The hot sauce does not want to be seen as just another offering in a sea of new spicy condiments all meant to bring more heat than one another. In reality, what Texas Pete wants to be is a versatile option that can pair well with anything from eggs in the morning to potato chips at night because while it brings flavor on its own, it doesn’t take away from the taste of the food it is being applied to. The promise that Texas Pete gives its consumers is that they will never be disappointed that they tried adding this sauce to one of their lunches or dinners because the mild quality of the sauce makes it inoffensive while still being present and enjoyable.

In terms of voice and personality, Texas Pete is complementary, and, at the same time, Texas Pete is never overwhelming. With this in mind the brand will need to start reaching out to some of the market segments discussed earlier and find ways to position their product as a desirable option for potential consumers. One effective way that this could be done would be to try and emphasize different Southern dishes that the product could pair well with to appeal to regional consumers or to encourage sale of the sauce to culturally diverse restaurants and diners where minority consumers come to enjoy a meal or a snack and will find the presence of Texas Pete to be a satisfying option to pair with their food.

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Works Cited

Aubrey, Allison. “How to Tip-Toe into the Hot Sauce Craze”. NPR, 2012. Accessed from

Lange, Maggie. “New Study on Gender and Hot Sauce Has Exception Conclusion”. NY Mag, 2015. Accessed from

Staff. “Texas Pete Consumer Insights”. Info Scout, 2017. Accessed from

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