Tag Archives: Acquisitions

Cold and Hot: Coca-Cola and Coffee

While we in the U.S. might not be familiar with U.K.-based coffee company Costa, it has almost 4,000 stores, including several hundred in China, and is the third largest coffee brand in the industry (behind Starbucks and McDonalds). Costa was recently acquired by Coca-Cola for $5.1 billion. Why? Simply stated: because purchases of soft drinks are down, and coffee consumption is up. Coca-Cola’s earnings have gone from $14 billion in 2013 to under $9 billion in 2017. According to Euromonitor, coffee sales are forecast to grow 15.6% by 2022.

To date, Coca-Cola’s products have included soft drinks and water products including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Life, Dasani, Minute Maid, Ciel, PowerAde, Simply juice beverages, Coca-Cola Light, Fresca, Smart Water, Fuze, Honest Tea, and more, including several alcohol products in Asia. However, the company has not had a hot-drink in its product mix, nor has it had a significant retail footprint.

Competition will be fierce. In addition to Starbucks, McDonalds, and others, there is Nestle which owns Nescafe instant coffee and Blue Bottle (which has exclusive rights to Starbucks packaged coffee and tea. Another competitor is JAB (European conglomerate) which owns Peet’s Coffee and Keurig. For Costa, the deal will help strengthen the brand and expand into new geographies.

The coffee battle has begun.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Have students view Coca-Cola’s products: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/brands/product-description
  3. Show video about purchase: http://fortune.com/2018/08/31/coca-cola-costa-coffee-whitbread-hot-drinks/
  4. Show Costa Coffee Web site: https://www.costa.co.uk/
  5. Which strategy is Coca-Cola using for Costa Coffee? Why?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Costa Coffee.
  7. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  New York Times, Fortune, CNN, Telegraph, and other news outlets

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PepsiCo Buys Bare Snacks

Consumer taste trends are moving to healthy and natural foods.  Organic and non-GMO healthy snacks are a growing industry segment that is particularly appealing to Millennials and Generation Z.

What should a company do to take advantage of the new industry and market segments? While companies can develop new products, market adoption of the new products can take valuable time, and development itself takes resources and money away from a company’s established products. A faster way to enter a new market with a new product is through acquisition. Case in point is PepsiCo’s recent purchase of snack manufacturer Bare Foods Co. to help bolster Pepsi’s health snack offerings.

Bare Snacks was founded in 2001 by a family-owned organic apple farm in Washington. It began by selling baked apple chips in local farmers’ markets. Today, the Bare line of fruit and vegetable snacks are sold at Starbucks, Costco, Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, and more. The products are made from simple ingredients that are baked (not fried) and are officially non-GMO verified. Bare Snacks is a certified B-Corp and reflects its values statements in its products: simplicity, goodness, be real, and live fully.

Bare and Pepsi – an unusual, but winning combination.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

    1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
    2. Which strategy did Bare Snacks use?
    3. Which strategy did PepsiCo using?
    4. Show Bare Snacks Web site: https://baresnacks.com/
    5. Show PepsiCo Web site: http://www.pepsico.com/
    6. Compare the two sites, products, and messages.
    7. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market Bare Snacks
    8. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.

Source: Brandchannel.com (25 May, 2018). PepsiCo adds Bare Snacks to Frito-Lay Portfolio.

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Kellogg Buys RXBAR

Consumer taste trends are moving to healthy and natural foods.  Nutrition and energy bars are a still-growing industry segment that is particularly appealing to Millennials. Yet, many of the older, established CPG firms struggle to attract and retain sales from that market segment. What should a company do? While it can certainly develop new products, market adoption of the new products can take valuable time and development itself takes resources and money away from a company’s established products.

A fast way to enter a new market with a new product is through acquisition. Kellogg recently took just this approach and acquired the very trendy RXBAR nutrition bar brand for a cool $600 million. The four-year old company currently has built its sales up to about $120 million and has added a children’s bar line, also.

RXBAR is known for a “no B.S.” innovative spirit. The brand highlights its commitment to whole food, protein bars that contain simple ingredients. The bars are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free, tapping into a growing food product segment. RXBAR has a distinctive package that clearly states ingredients on the front of each package. For example: “3 Egg Whites, 5 Almonds, 4 Cashews, 2 Dates, No B.S.”

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

    1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
    2. Show RXBAR Web site: https://www.rxbar.com/
    3. Video about the company story: https://youtu.be/aMFwfKThixA
    4. Which strategy did RXBAR use?
    5. Which strategy is Kellogg using?
    6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select one of the four different strategies and explain why that strategy could be used to market RXBAR.
    7. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
    8. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Buss, D. (2017, Oct. 9). Kellogg looks to “no B.S.” RXBAR for growth and inspiration. Brandchannel.com

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