Ice Cream and Company

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Questions:

1- Conduct PESTEL and SWOT analysis for Haagen Dazs 2- Identify the Key Success Factors for the industry. Does Haagen Dazs meet these factors? 3- Provide future recommendations for Haagen Dazs to help the company compete in a global competitive economy.

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AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT SULIMAN S. OLAYAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

HÄAGEN-DAZS: OVERCOMING CULTURAL BARRIERS

It was 7.00 p.m. on a Friday night; Nada, the secretary, was the last to leave the office after asking Mr. Stephan if he still needed anything from her. As was his habit, Mr. Stephan always stayed late in his office and benefited from the calm evening to answer some emails, make some calls and finalize some documents related to the business. However, today wasn’t a regular day for Mr. Stephan; the accounting department had just delivered the 1st quarter’s results, and Mr. Stephan had some concerns that were weighing on his mind. As he stood by his window that overlooked one of the most popular streets of Downtown Beirut, he saw the many cafes and restaurants on the sides of the street starting to get packed. It was obviously the start of the new season and a signal to the flow of tourists to Lebanon, particularly to Downtown Beirut. This unfortunately was another concern to him.

Mr. Anthony Stephan is the founder and chairman of ABRESIA S.A.L., a Lebanese company that controls the franchise of Häagen-Dazs Café in Lebanon. The company started in 1998 as a partnership with a sister company, Café Del Centro, a café in the parliament square, and in 2003, the two companies were merged into ABRESIA S.A.L. which then was the official date of the opening of the first HäagenDazs Café in Lebanon.

Häagen-Dazs had just come out of a tough winter season and was standing at the verge of a new tourism season. The winter results were not very satisfying for Mr. Stephan and signaled a sharp drop in performance and sales relatively to other seasons. Also, the new season indicated the arrival of a great number of tourists, mainly Arabs, or foreigners looking to spend some pleasurable time in an oriental setting, with oriental food, service and a general oriental atmosphere. Mr. Stephan’s main worries were: first, how to fight seasonality and keep high profitability throughout the year; and second, how to compete with the surrounding cafes in Downtown that somehow support the general atmosphere of Downtown Beirut and represent the area’s main attraction factor .

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In addition, and to top it all up, a new major challenge was facing ABRESIA: the Lebanese political situation. The past month was characterized by several days of full shut down of the Downtown area to facilitate the process of the “National Dialogue”1. These days have cost several losses to Häagen-Dazs in terms of stocks and sales. ABRESIA expects further days of shut downs and is worried as of how to go about these shut downs and compensate the losses they’d cause.

Mr. Stephan had several questions to answer and tough decisions to make concerning the strategies of his company and the direction his business should take. Mr. Stephan had the challenge to reconcile between the local culture and environment, and the strict standards of Häagen-Dazs International.

Häagen-Dazs

History

In 1961, Reuben Mattus founded Häagen-Dazs, a company whose purpose is to produce the finest ice cream. The history of Häagen-Dazs, however, can be traced back to the early 1920’s, when Mattus used to work in his mother’s ice cream business. He rode a horse drawn wagon to sell fruit ice and ice cream pops in the Bronx, New York. Mattus was a very ambitious person, and had the entrepreneurial spirit. His vision was to create the finest and best quality ice cream by using the finest and purest ingredients.

Mattus created Häagen-Dazs to make his vision come true. The name HäagenDazs was chosen to convey an image of tradition and craftsmanship. The name has a German color, and was aimed to convey...
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