Sara Lee Swot

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Sara Lee Corporation SWOT Analysis|
MGMT 303 Spring Session B|
William Bannier|



In 1935 Charles Lubin, along with his brother-in-law, opened up a string of bakeries called Community Bake Shops. Charles had a stronger entrepreneurial drive than his brother-in-law so in 1949 the two parted ways and Charles renamed the company to the Kitchens of Sara Lee after his eight year old daughter. (Sara Lee Our History) The company was purchased in 1956 by Consolidated Foods which changed its name in 1985 to Sara Lee Corporation. Mr. Lubin continued to serve as an executive director for many years and although she has never held a managerial position, his daughter has appeared in some of Sara Lee’s television commercials. (The Sara Lee Heritage, 2007)

Today Sara Lee Corporation owns several brands in the food and beverage industry as well as products in home and body care. (About Sara Lee, 2007) and sells products in 180 countries (Sara Lee Corporation Company Profile, 2008) Of course, the company still produces its popular bakery items under the Sara Lee brand name as well. (Our Brands, 2007) Sara Lee’s mission statement simply reads, “To simply delight you… Every day.” It is the company’s goal to be the number one choice of consumers around the world. (About Sara Lee, 2007)


Sara Lee Foods has diversified and grown over the years in terms of international marketing. The company now operates in 58 countries and ships goods to almost 180 countries worldwide. The United States is the company's largest market and in fiscal year 2007, accounted for about 53.7% of sales. The European divisions accounted for the other 46.3%. In fiscal year 2007, North American retail meat had the largest share with 21.5% of the total revenues and the International Beverages division brought in a close second with 21.3%. The International Bakery division brought in the least revenue for 2007 with only 6.5%. (Sara Lee Corporation Company Profile, 2008)

In 2008, Ricky W. Griffin defined a distinctive competency as, “an organizational strength posessed by a small number of competing firms.” (Griffin, 2008, p. 232) While this would not be considered a distinctive competence since many companies are beginning to spread to a global market, Sara Lee’s continued growth outside of the US certainly helps the company coninue to gain more revenue.

Thanks to the company’s trademark holdings, Sara Lee has many strong intangible assets. These can be considered some of the most valuable assets for the company. Sara Lee owns almost 28,000 active trademark registrations and applications around the world. The company also ensures that its intellectual property rights are safeguarded through programs designed to protect these assets. These programs ensure that all of Sara Lee’s intellectual properties are registered, and renewed as well as protected by the laws of every country they are registered in. Sara Lee also owns other intellectual property rights which are not registered.

These trademarks give Sara Lee the leverage to maintain its competitive edge. (Sara Lee Corporation Company Profile, 2009) This is one of Sara Lee’s distinctive competencies as few competitors have branched out into such a variety of products which impact our day to day lives.

The Sara Lee Corporation has witnessed considerable revenue growth over the last several years. In fiscal year 2008, the revenue of the company increased to $13,212.0 million which rose from revenue of $11,175.0 million in 2006. (Sara Lee Corporation Company Profile, 2009) Several factors contributed to this increased revenue, including changes in exchange rates as well as price increases, higher unit volumes and a better sales mix. Strong performance from several of Sara Lee’s divisions have also helped create a higher revenue. Several of the company’s divisions showed increases in revenue percentages...
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