Case 6-16 Cowgirl Chocolates
Before spending an additional $3,000 on an advertising campaign in the March/April edition of Chile Pepper Magazine, Marilyn Lysohir needs to consider how to reach her goal of becoming a profitable company. She needs to analyze consumer perceptions, pricing strategies, identify and gain access to effective distribution channels and the effective use of the company web site. Since the inception of a revolutionary spicy chocolate recipe, Marilyn Lysohir and Ross Coates have been striving to grow a profitable business in the chocolate industry but, each year Marilyn has loaned the company money to keep it running. Cowgirl chocolates caters to both Chocolate lovers and spicy food lovers. Cowgirl chocolates are manufactured by Seattle Chocolates, a well known a private label company. After the final product is created incorporating a receipt of Cowgirl spices, Marilyn creatively packages the final product into custom tins, bags, buckets and boxes.
Despite having award winning packaging designs and a high quality chocolate, many consumers and retailers are reluctant to purchase or retail the product. Both consumers and potential retailers have mentioned that the chocolates are too spicy. To help gain greater access Marilyn has created a non-spicy chocolate calling it mild-mannered. According to Fiery Food Trends, 1999, only 10-15 percent of American consumers are currently eating hot food. In addition, the average consumer of spicy hot foods is predominantly men, yet in contrast Marilyn’s target market is women. This trend indicates that although the current target market is high-energy and risk-taking this target will not necessarily identify with a cowgirl country theme or be completely satisfied with just the effects and tastes of hot pepper spices. Another area that requires analysis is pricing. Although none of Cowgirl Chocolates competitors carry a full-line of exclusively hot cayenne spiced...