The Agricultural & Resource Economics (“ARE”) Department at NCSU is sending a student team to the National Grocers Association (“NGA”) National Marketing Competition in February 2018. NCSU and ARE have sent many student teams to national competitions in the past, although due to sabbaticals and other scheduling conflicts this will be the first team returning to competitions since 2015.
This will be the sixth national competition for Frederick Parker, PhD, since joining NCSU and ARE. Dr. Parker teaches courses in Marketing, Finance, and Ethics, all of which are very important to the competition case study relating to advancing Health & Wellness agribusiness products and services at the retail level, where many food companies are hiring licensed dietitians to improve the quality of product offerings and provide assistance to customers with questions about healthier lifestyles. In response to this case study the NCSU student team expects to develop a business plan and recommend a digital app that can bundle dietitians, in-store pharmacists, and retail grocery stores into a unified resource for health conscious consumers, notably Millennials.
This competition and the specific case study achieve numerous valuable teaching objectives for ARE students, notably learning enough detail of Marketing Plans to be able to accurately and productively critique existing marketing plans for other products, and use the information gained to build a successful marketing plan for the case study and for real world products and applications as future agribusiness professionals. In addition, the competition reinforces professional and persuasive communications skills through presentations to panels of judges at the NGA competition, as well as numerous practices with Dr. Parker as coach to refine the students’ talents. Student team member Alexandra Howell explains it well:
“I am excited to have been invited by Dr. Parker to participate in the NGA Marketing Competition on behalf of and supported by the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics. This competition will allow me to work with fellow ARE students in skills that include problem solving and teamwork, while developing meaningful connections and friendships with my peers. I am looking forward to this competition also in that it diverges from NC State’s primary focus in production agriculture and focuses rather on consumers and end products. This competition will be a great experience and I am looking forward to growing with my peers and as an individual.”
The student team is working throughout the Fall 2017 semester to develop and refine their product, recommendations, and presentation, in preparation for the actual competition scheduled for February 10 – 13, 2018.
Team Picture Attached – from left to right: front row: Jessica Clayton, Alexandra Howell; back row: Jack Wixson, Brad Wishon, Dr. Parker, and Louis Isabella