United Cereal Case Study
I. Key Problem
United Cereal is a diversified company established in 1910 by Jed Thomas. The company produces snack foods, dairy products, beverages, frozen foods, baked goods, and cereals. The cereal industry generates one third of United Cereals revenue. United Cereal focuses on “commitment, diligence, and loyalty” which attracted many people to work for the company. Jed expected his Managers to adhere to a strong set of values and wanted committed Managers that would uphold his philosophy of the “The UC Way” to its customers. In addition, the company focused on listening to its customers and spotting current trends to make the market part of their core value. United Cereal was well known as an innovator in the cereal industry and had implemented the “brand management” system, where brand Managers had sole leadership of the brands. During the global expansion of United Cereal in 1952, the company implemented Country Managers (CM) in Europe, who worked on customer satisfaction by studying changes in cultural trends. The company’s philosophy was to listen to the customer and create a product that the customer wants. The Country Managers constantly strived to meet customers’ needs around different regions in Europe. European breakfast cereal was a very profitable recession-proof market with few competitors. United Cereal was second, after Kellogg’s, who had 26% of the cereal market. Laura Brill was United Cereal’s European vice president when Healthy Berry Crunch was going to be launched. This became one of the toughest decisions of her career. Laura wanted to launch it to all of Europe and for this new cereal to be the company’s first coordinated multimarket launch. Managers and vice-presidents were hesitant about this idea. The following question arises from this dilemma. What international strategy should United Cereal implement with Healthy Berry Crunch cereal in order to reduce costs and increase market share...
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