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Apple Flavor & Fragrance (603020) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Apple Flavor & Fragrance (China)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Apple Flavor & Fragrance is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, technology disruption, increasing transportation and logistics costs, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, geopolitical disruptions, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , there is increasing trade war between United States & China, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Apple Flavor & Fragrance


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Apple Flavor & Fragrance can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Apple Flavor & Fragrance, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Apple Flavor & Fragrance operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Apple Flavor & Fragrance can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Apple Flavor & Fragrance
2. Improving business portfolio management of Apple Flavor & Fragrance
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in China
4. Making a Food Processing sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Apple Flavor & Fragrance




Strengths of Apple Flavor & Fragrance | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Apple Flavor & Fragrance are -

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Apple Flavor & Fragrance has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

Digital Transformation in Food Processing industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Apple Flavor & Fragrance digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Apple Flavor & Fragrance has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.

Learning organization

- Apple Flavor & Fragrance is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at Apple Flavor & Fragrance is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Apple Flavor & Fragrance emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

High brand equity

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Apple Flavor & Fragrance to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Food Processing industry

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Apple Flavor & Fragrance to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Food Processing industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Apple Flavor & Fragrance to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Apple Flavor & Fragrance staying ahead in the Food Processing industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Training and development

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance has one of the best training and development program in Consumer/Non-Cyclical industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Food Processing industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Apple Flavor & Fragrance have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Strong track record of project management in the Food Processing industry

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Apple Flavor & Fragrance are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Apple Flavor & Fragrance in Food Processing industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance is one of the leading players in the Food Processing industry in China. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in China. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.






Weaknesses of Apple Flavor & Fragrance | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Apple Flavor & Fragrance are -

Products dominated business model

– Even though Apple Flavor & Fragrance has some of the most successful models in the Food Processing industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Apple Flavor & Fragrance should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Apple Flavor & Fragrance, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Food Processing industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

– The organizational structure of Apple Flavor & Fragrance is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Food Processing industry, but Apple Flavor & Fragrance needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Apple Flavor & Fragrance to focus more on services in the Food Processing industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Apple Flavor & Fragrance needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Food Processing industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Apple Flavor & Fragrance can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Apple Flavor & Fragrance is planning to shift buying processes online.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Apple Flavor & Fragrance has high operating costs in the Food Processing industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Apple Flavor & Fragrance lucrative customers.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Apple Flavor & Fragrance is one of the leading players in the Food Processing industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Food Processing industry in last five years.

Employees’ less understanding of Apple Flavor & Fragrance strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Apple Flavor & Fragrance don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Food Processing industry, Apple Flavor & Fragrance needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Apple Flavor & Fragrance is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Apple Flavor & Fragrance to provide better information regarding Food Processing products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Lack of clear differentiation of Apple Flavor & Fragrance products

– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Apple Flavor & Fragrance needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Apple Flavor & Fragrance has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.




Apple Flavor & Fragrance Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Apple Flavor & Fragrance are -

Loyalty marketing

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Apple Flavor & Fragrance to increase its market reach. Apple Flavor & Fragrance will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Apple Flavor & Fragrance to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Apple Flavor & Fragrance can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Apple Flavor & Fragrance can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Developing new processes and practices

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance can develop new processes and procedures in Food Processing industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Apple Flavor & Fragrance can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Apple Flavor & Fragrance can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Apple Flavor & Fragrance operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Food Processing sector.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Food Processing industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Apple Flavor & Fragrance can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Apple Flavor & Fragrance can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Food Processing industry.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Apple Flavor & Fragrance in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Food Processing industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Food Processing industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Apple Flavor & Fragrance can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Apple Flavor & Fragrance can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Food Processing industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Apple Flavor & Fragrance in the Food Processing industry. Now Apple Flavor & Fragrance can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.




Threats Apple Flavor & Fragrance External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Apple Flavor & Fragrance are -

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Apple Flavor & Fragrance in the Food Processing sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Food Processing industry.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Apple Flavor & Fragrance may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Food Processing sector.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Apple Flavor & Fragrance demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Food Processing industry and other sectors.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Food Processing industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Apple Flavor & Fragrance needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Food Processing sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Food Processing industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Apple Flavor & Fragrance can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Regulatory challenges

– Apple Flavor & Fragrance needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Food Processing industry regulations.

Backlash against dominant players

– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Apple Flavor & Fragrance business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Apple Flavor & Fragrance can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Apple Flavor & Fragrance prominent markets.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Apple Flavor & Fragrance.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Apple Flavor & Fragrance is facing in Food Processing sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Apple Flavor & Fragrance Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Apple Flavor & Fragrance needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Apple Flavor & Fragrance is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Apple Flavor & Fragrance is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Apple Flavor & Fragrance to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Apple Flavor & Fragrance needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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