By CATHY DAICHANG
The Gertrude Hawk Chocolate selling industry is experiencing a plateau in sales, with profits remaining consistent with last year’s figures. This business has a customer base in the JP-munchies sector of the community, specializing in the sweet-tooth, breakfast-replacement, and after-school-craving markets. The target consumer is the student overflowing with desperation and one dollar bills with a history of loyalty to the brand. Demand for Gertrude Hawk has increased proportionately with the JP population since the Freshman Boom of 2015.
Strengths of the industry include a readily available consumer market required by law to attend school each day. Vendor numbers vary; when abundant, the product is seen down every hallway, staircase, and sidewalk. The rustic packaging of the product is immediately recognizable; in fact, most consumers can recognize the flavors based on the shade of the wrapper. Costs fluctuate around $1 per bar, with a direct relationship between lower prices and seller desperation. Flavors and quality are consistent; some flavors are are in higher demand than others, though, and melted or broken merchandise is, unfortunately, less valued.
The greatest weakness of the industry lies in the difference in stock between vendors. While one student may want to purchase an ordinary peanut butter bar, the more eccentric student may be looking to buy a less-common coconut custard bar. Because most vendors order variety packs that do not contain equal numbers of each flavor, clients are often disappointed when they cannot find their preferred rectangle of cocoa. Moreover, vendors often order their stock in hordes: clubs and organizations such as Odyssey of the Mind and Future Business Leaders of America have specified dates for their chocolate orders. Supply is low for most of the year, but when these large orders come in, supply is outrageously high. In fact, the extreme influx of chocolate makes uncommon the sight of a vendor begging his or her friend to buy their one last white chocolate bar by the end of a market flood. These ups and downs affect the behavior of the entire consumer base; for example, when teachers are offered chocolate, they often indulge their own sweet tooth after a long day of grading papers and crying. Once the vendors load their Gertrude Hawk boxes on top of their books for the day, there is no stopping their sales.
Though the industry has its highs and lows throughout the school year, its consistently high earnings and solid reputation make it a sound method of extracting money from stingy high schoolers.
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