Mountain Man Brewing Company

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Chris Prangel, a recent MBA graduate, has returned home to West Virginia to manage the marketing operations of the Mountain Man Beer Company. This is a family-owned business that he’s going to take a hand on in 5 years. Mountain Man brews just one beer which is Mountain Man Lager, also known as "West Virginia's beer" and popular among blue-collar workers. Mountain Man Lager is a beer known for its authenticity, quality and toughness. It had a distinctive bitter flavor, slightly higher than average alcohol content and was considered a strong working man’s beer. Beer had certain awards as the “Best beer in West Virginia” for 8 straight years. It was also rated as the “Best beer in Indiana”, “America’s championship lager”, “Best known regional beer” and the “West Virginia beer”. Research had shown that the Mountain Man Brewery was as recognizable brand among working class males as Chevrolet or John Deere. Brand had a great role in beer purchasing decision. Due to changes in beer drinkers' taste preferences, the company is now experiencing declining sales for the first time in its history. As competitors we may observe major domestic producers like Anheuser Busch, Miller Brewing Company and Adolf Coors Company, accounted for 74% of the market in Mountain Man’s region. The second tier domestic producers had 12.5% share, import beer companies had a 12% share and the craft beer industry owned the rest. Mountain Man Brewers were a second company. Changes in beer drinkers’ preferences were a mean reason of declining sales. Light beer sales were growing at an annual rate of 4% per year, while traditional premium beer sales have declined annually by the same percentage. The light beers had already risen to 50.4% of total beer sales. The demand for import and craft beer was increasing. Heavy discounting on beer had caused larger beer producers to put pressure on smaller ones. Younger drinkers who were not main Mountain Man customers represented only 27% beer sales. Chris...
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