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Promoting Coconut Products In The Global Market - Problems And Challenges

Coconut, commonly referred as ‘Tree of Life’, grown in 93 countries, ensures livelihood security of million of people, especially in Asia & Pacific Region. Returns on coconut are largely determined by the price of its products in consuming countries, as well as in domestic market. Coconut oil, which was the most traded commodity of coconut has been loosing its share of market due to price competition from other vegetable oils, calling for diversification of coconut products to meet the consumer needs. However, limited success has been achieved in marketing of diversified products and coconut oil continues to be the major product resulting the price of coconut. ‘How to enhance the consumer base for coconut and coconut products in this competitive market’, which is a challenge has been receiving attention of most of the coconut growing countries since economy of coconut production is determined by the price realized from coconut products. In this context, marketing research assumes much more significance, which has enhanced dimensions in the wake of technological inventions. Market research is one of the tools to understand the market, identify the needs of the core customers, streamline the delivery mechanism, identify the new markets and to watch out the competing products for the creation of the marketing strategy from time to time. Interestingly, market research on the fruit items clearly indicates that growing population is health conscious, who would need the product, which has advantages in terms of health amidst the requirement of diet. Therefore, focus on health aspects of various coconut products and creation of awareness about the health aspects of the coconut through various media including electronic media would be one of the approaches to enhance the consumer base for coconut and coconut products. In the wake of declining price of coconut, aggressive market efforts carried out in India to promote the coconut products have met with fruitful results in enhancing the consumer base and improving the price situation. Therefore, market research having market intervention and efficient marketing system coupled with quality consciousness, competitive advantages etc., would be essential. The paper deals with the current scenario of marketing of coconut and coconut products and required changes for quality assurance mechanism through strategic initiatives to enhance the marketing of coconut and coconut products globally.

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