Carvel Beijing Case Study

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Carvel Beijing Partner Brief
The primary benefit is that focus groups and taste-tests help us gauge our current markets and consumer preferences and perceptions. Whereas, this tracking study gives us a long-term tool to analyze any potential changes in these variables over a particular period of time. Notes

* Steven Wang, manager of business development for Beijing-based Carvel Asia Limited was seeking to increase sales in the company’s flagship product category – ice cream cakes (main goal) * Lack of basic education and knowledge about the company’s products (customers and distributors) * International presence in 1998, Carvel owned and operated over 300 retail stores in US, China, Puerto Rico and Canada, and had granted franchise rights to 600 others. Their current “wholesale” accounts (4,500) were predominantly in supermarkets. * The company’s net sales exceeded US $600 million in 1997. * 3 product categories – fountain ice cream, ice cream novelties and ice cream cakes * Ice cream cakes - Carvel Classics (had option to put special messages), Blue Ribbon (premium), character cakes (special), novelty cakes * 1994, Carvel established Carvel Asia Limited – 1998, 10 retail stores and 150 wholesale accounts throughout Beijing (Presence in China) * The company had faced losses every year – improving financial performance – prediction to break even by 1998 * Sales exceeded US$725,000 – Beijing Carvel derived 45% of revenues from ice cream cakes and 55% from the rest. This was in contrast to the US sales, where 60% of the revenues came from cakes * (Imp) The cakes were purchased most often for birthdays and office parties, followed by Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (holidays) * (Imp) Complete lack of market information and no official consumption data for ice cream whatsoever. And whatever data was available was notoriously unreliable. * (Imp) Wang relied on his own observations, feedback from Beijing Carvel...
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