Antrodia Cinnamomea (Niu-chang-chih) is the unique and precious mushroom in Taiwan. It appears only in caves of decay Cinnamomun kanehirae tress and grows very slow. Since hard to harvest, the price of these medical mushroom is higher than 200,000 NTD per kilogram. According to the research from Food Industry Research and Development Institute (FIRDI), output value of A. cinnamomea is more than 1.7 billion NTD in year 2012 in Taiwan. Nevertheless, customer awareness is gradually raised within the frequent food safety incidents. Taiwan government not only resort policy to biotechnology industry to stringent control the food safety, but also to educate the public on how to buy products. Therefore, Antrodia industry should pay more attention to the quality of production. Production costs will reflect in commodity pricing, moreover, how to promote the sale of A. cinnamomea products are also an important issue for the Antrodia industry.
This study focus on the act of distributors cooperated with A biotech company. The relationships among customer (distributor) education, customer readiness and customer participation are discussed through depth interviews. Three different route of agents are accessed, and the main conclusions are below:
1. Antrodia healthy food products are complex and specialty, while customer education reduce product perceived risk. It also highlights and differentiates the competitive advantage of products. Thus raise the royalty to A biotech company and reduce conversion opportunities.
2. A biotech company responsible for research, development and manufacture of products, where distributors are in charge of sales and marketing. To reduce the risk, shorten the time and compliance with food decree of new product development, distributors facilitate to cooperate with A biotech company.
3. Within high cooperated motivation and good expected benefit, distributors would share the message of marketing facts to A biotech company. They also ask A biotech company to offer resource and support to reach a win-win situation.
We would like to suggest the practice implication and research proposal to distributors, A biotech company, Antrodia industry, governments and researchers that may be interest to this issue.