United Cereal: Lora Brill’s Challenge
The decision to launch Healthy Berry Cereal in Europe is one that may make/break Lora Brill’s career. Deciding to launch Healthy Berry Crunch in a manner completely different than as seen before is the major decision that she needs to make. Prior to Healthy Berry’s development, other cereals had gone through a much different product development cycle than this. In addition, the plan to roll this product out as a European brand is a totally new concept. The launch that Lora has to decide on goes against typical United Cereal (UC) strategic, operational, and organizational standards that have been put in place for many years. “The UC Way” is an iconic phrase that has been embedded in the corporation.
From an operational standpoint, UC was a pioneer in the use of research and focus groups. UC puts a very high value on extensive market testing prior to launching a new product. Because of the initial unsuccessful testing of the blueberry based cereal, Healthy Berry Crunch was not put through the normal testing to ensure complete customer acceptance, it did show good results in limited testing. Because of budget restraints, Health Berry has not gone through the typical UC testing.
Strategically, introducing Healthy Berry as a Eurobrand is very risky. As shown in the data, cereal consumption varies greatly through Europe. From a total consumption of 8 kg/year in the UK, to only 0.5 kg/year in Italy. The point of sale also varies significantly throughout Europe. 80% of cereal is sold in super/hypermarkets in Germany and only 17% in Italy. Trying to integrate one cereal into such a diverse region like Europe may be extremely difficult. Consumers view products very differently from one country to another. Having one brand, will not allow UC to promote and price the product specific to the region being targeted
The Eurobrand product approach is going to be very difficult from an organizational point of...