Introducing Panera Bread in Europe (Portugal) – Page 2

Panera Bread Competitor Analysis in Portugal

As aforementioned, one of the threats facing the establishment of Panera Bread in Portugal is the competition of other already established companies in the fast food industry selling competitive products to those of Panera Bread. Among the major competitors are the following.

The McDonalds

The McDonald’s brand started its operations in Portugal in 1991 by introducing a different concepts and ways of experience in the fast food industry. For all this period, now the McDonald’s operates across all major Portuguese cities and towns. The Portuguese community recognizes its efforts in industrial revolution visible from its quest in innovating new products and services as well as meeting the preferences of different Portuguese consumers. The McDonald’s in Portugal operates under 138 restaurants and employs over 6000 employees. More so, there are 47 franchisees operating with McDonald’s in Portugal, which actually generates about 80% of the restaurants (The McDonald’s, 2013).

The mission statement of McDonald’s in Portugal is working daily to be the favorite restaurant of their customers. To effectively achieve this mission, the McDonalds have set values which it bases its operations upon. The company places the consumer’s experience at the heart of everything it does. The company tryst the systems of operations, that is, franchise, company and supplier. More so, this company indulges in giving back to the community through social corporate responsibility programs. The company also follows continuous improvement strategies (The McDonald’s, 2013). Owing to the fact that the McDonald’s has been in Portugal since the early1990s and now has a very established brand name with significant customer loyalty, it poses as a key competitor to Panera Bread Company if it ventures in the Portuguese market.

Starbucks Coffee Portugal

The Starbucks Coffee International, which was founded in 1971, follows a distinctive strategy to provide its partners, the employees and the customers, with daily inspiration in respect to innovative products and services, human connections, and comfortable business atmosphere. The Starbucks currently operates in over 15,000 stores in over 50 countries across the world, including in Portugal. Like its mission statement stipulates, the Starbucks Company is set to “inspire as well as nurture human spirit, one person, one cup, and one community at a time.”

In Portugal, the Starbucks started operations in end September, 2008. Although the key product of Starbucks is high quality Arabica coffee, the Starbucks also offers some traditional Portuguese food items prepared in an innovative manner, to complement the company’s high quality coffee. Among the breads and pastries available in Starbucks outlets are croissants, glaseados, muffins, cakes, cookies and brownies. In relation to the competition analysis, the Starbucks poses as a potential competitor to Panera Bread since, other than offering the basic coffee it is uniquely identified for; the Starbucks also serves accompaniments which substitute products to the products of Panera Bread.

Company Analysis

Company analysis refers to the process carried out by the investment department of any organization in the quest of evaluating securities, gathering information on company profile, services, products and profitability. A company analysis is a very fundamental procedure for any company to take especially while implementing expansionary strategies such as entry to new markets. There are a number of things incorporated under a company analysis. For Panera Bread, the aspects of company analysis to consider while setting up for the Portuguese market include the following.

Marketing Ability

The very first and most important factor to consider under company analysis is the ability of the management to effectively pull out in an expansion strategy. The Panera Bread management is well equipped to successfully indulge in overseas expansionary missions such as in Portugal. With respect to the success the marketing department in the management team has shown in enabling high standards of market development and retention in North America, it is clear that the marketing team is also capable of conducting a relevant market research in the Portuguese market. Comparing the Portuguese market size with that of North America, it is relatively smaller both in geographical and population terms. This implies that market segmentation and specialization strategies in Portugal would be very easy for the Panera Bread marketing team.

Financial Health

Expansionary business excellence operations require a stable position in terms of a company’s financial aspect. To venture in the Portuguese market, a lot of capital investment will be necessary for the Panera Bread Company. The company will have lease, rent or buy land or buildings through which to set up bakery-cafes in Portugal. The venture will also call for human resources such as managers, chefs, drivers, service personnel and local marketers. To create awareness of the existence of Panera Bread in Portugal, a lot of product promotion and advertising must be done. Venturing in the Portuguese market will require a huge capital investment from the Panera Bread Company. Form the statistics of this company’s recent financial records, the figures illustrate the possibility of it to afford venturing in the Portuguese market without much financial straining. The cash flow, sales revenues and profitability index have been on the rise. This entire factors act as good indicators that Panera Bread is financially capable to venture its bread production and marketing in Portugal.

SWOT Analysis

In simple terms, the SWOT analysis is a technique applied to illustrate a company’s capabilities in terms of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing it in the quest of meeting its objectives and goals. In this respect, venturing in the Portuguese market poses a number of issues for Panera Bread as stipulated in a SWOT analysis. To start with, the company’s financial stability and success culture act as its strengths. The bread eating culture and as well as ready availability of chief raw materials are good opportunities for venturing business in Portugal. All the same, there is a weakness evident from lack of adequate information on where to set up the bakery-cafes, as well as the threat of competition from Portuguese chain restaurants indulging in breads and tarts. However, the strengths and opportunities are relatively more dominant than the weakness and the threats, on average.

Customer Analysis

Before implementing new business ventures, all business organizations must prepare a reasonable business plan. One of the key things critically evaluated in a business expansionary plan is the customer analysis. Also referred to as a target market analysis or a customer profile, the customer analysis specifically identifies the target customers, as well as ascertaining these customers’ needs and specifying how the product satisfies those needs (Thorn, 2009). In its quest to introduce its products in the Portuguese Market, the Panera Company has to familiarize itself with the customer analysis with reference to this new market. The factors to include in a definitive customer analysis for the Portuguese market include the following.

Customer Buying Criteria

This is a behavioral analysis of customers that seeks to identify the various important factors that lead to consumes choosing one product from another. The buying criteria essentially provide adequate information of what a company should do to gain competitive advantage over its competitors. This analysis uses four main aspects; price, convenience, quality and prestige. For the purpose of effectively serving the Portuguese market, Panera Bread Company must understand the basic features of the consumers buying criteria in this new market. There must be a balance price and quality strategies so as to coerce the consumers to try the products from the new company. By understanding the consumer needs in the Portuguese market, Panera Bread Company will efficiently develop a clear and valid value proposition that wills reflect the tangible benefits expected by the customers from its products.

Purchase Process and Patterns

Purchase patterns and processes focuses on actions such as the type of items purchased, the frequency of purchases, the aggregate transaction value, or even the products that lead to the purchase of others. In the Portuguese markets, Panera Bread must be armed with adequate information of why bread is bought. For instance, bread is a daily meal in local households across the entire Portuguese regions. Also, the number of times purchased is also important to consider. In the Portuguese market where bread and related products are a staple food, bread is frequently bought at all time of the day. Such information is vital for Panera Bread so as to determine the optimal production output to set.

Customer Demographics

Just as Panera Bread applies market segmentation strategies to effectively meet the needs of different customers in its current North America and Canada markets; it should prepare to do the same in the Portuguese market as well. The Portuguese market is characterized by various sectors that differ in terms of specific needs due to the variance in culture, financial ability and foreign interaction. In designing the appropriate marketing strategy, Panera Bread should consider the fact that although there is a mass market that shares similar requirements, there are also separate groups with different psychological and demographic profiles that will play an important role in the effective success of Panera Bread in operations in Portugal.


  • Elliott, S. (2012). A Taste of Portugal. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from Portuguese
  • Heckler Associates. (2011). Panera Bread. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from Heckler
  • Panera Bread Co. (2012). 2011 Annual Report to Stockholders. St. Louis: Panera Bread Company.
  • Panera Bread. (2013). Panera Bread: Company Overview. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from Panera
  • Riley, J. (2012, September 23). Marketing Objectives. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from
  • The McDonald’s. (2013). History of the Brand in Portugal. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from
  • Thorn, C. (2009, January 12). Example of Customer Analysis for a Marketing Plan. Retrieved June 24, 2013, from Yahoo Voices:
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