Do a traditional SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) of Calgene's situation in the spring of 1995.
R&D abilities in bioengineering technology
Competitive advantages in bioengineered product licenses and regulatory agency approval to market tomato (and other bioengineered products)
Competitive advantages in already test marketing "MacGregor's Tomatoes"
Competitive advantage of being "closer" to mass marketing its tomato
Success of industrial and edible oils and cotton seed divisions
Bioengineering licensing agreements
New "soft picking, packing, and shipping" methods
Operating plants with new "soft" picking, packing, and shipping systems
High costs associated with operating "soft" p/p/s systems
Management inexperience with "commercializing" products developed by R&D
Bioengineering technology base may already be outdated
Questionable knowledge base about acceptability of bioengineered products
Question of whether "taste tests" of MacGregor's Tomato ever happened
Still unproven ability to mass market a consumer product
No established relationships with "resellers" in fresh tomato market
Customer acceptance or lack of acceptance of bioengineered fresh consumable products
High operating costs associated with "soft" p/p/s process may require "premium" pricing at point of sale
Perceived advantages of "MacGregor's Tomato" does not occur at either reseller or consumer level
Competitor tomato "Endless Summer" based on new technology may have superior product features
Threatened boycott of bioengineered products like "Chefs" example
First into new markets generally establish lion's share of market
Size of market for fresh tomatoes is huge; even a small market share could mean large revenues for Calgene
Loads of theoretical opportunities for additional bioengineered fresh producei.e., corn, etc.
Two other divisions seem to be already successful or about to be and thus represent an opportunity for future growth
Business-to-business product marketing represent fewer barriers to entry and Calgene has already established market presence via other two divisions in that market
What is your assessment of the product development procedures used Calgene to develop the MacGregor FlavrSavr tomato? Were they effective, or could they be improved?
Calgene's new product development process seems to have been less than adequate in that the "bruising" of MacGregor's tomatoes in the first large-scale attempt to market them should have been at least foreseen, if not known. The very late in the process discovery of bruising led to a crisis mode of developing a solution that turned out to be a very high cost processso high in cost that it may require premium pricing for MacGregor's Tomatoes. There is also no specific evidence that "taste testing" by the consuming public of the FlavrSavr tomato ever actually occurred. Note that the instructor should at this point refer the students to the appropriate section of the textbook being used in the course for a discussion of the recognized appropriate new product development process.
3. What is your assessment of Calgene's knowledge about customer acceptance of bioengineered foods and specifically the FlavrSavr tomato? Do you think there has been an oversight, or do you agree that Calgene management has effectively considered market demand for the product?
There is little evidence to indicate that Calgene used any form of scientific research to ascertain the likelihood of consumers accepting either bioengineered foods in general or MacGregor's Tomatoes specifically. This would be an oversight of major consequence if Calgene did not perform any scientifically based and valid research into these two aspects. It would be especially evident that management was inept if valid "taste tests" were never performed.
4. Diagram the consumer purchasing...
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