Tag Archives: beverages

Snack Robots are Invading Campuses

Robots are invading! Ok, maybe they aren’t exactly invading the entire nation, but they do seem to be infiltrating some college campuses. Rest easy though – these robots seek not to dominate, but instead to satisfy students’ craving for delivered snacks.

The self-driving robots are being tested for “last mile delivery” courtesy of PepsiCo, and have been deployed to serve students at the University of the Pacific’s campus in Stockton, Calif. The robots, developed by robotic company Robby Technologies, carry a variety of healthy snacks and drinks from Pepsi’s ‘Hello Goodness’ product line. Ordering and delivery on campus is easy using an app that is available to all students with a University of the Pacific email address. With a single charge, the robot can travel 20 miles to find a multitude of consumers eager for a quick snack.

The robots do have a normal work hour shift of 9-5 (sorry, no late night munchies) and deliver products to 50 areas around the campus. The robots are equipped with cameras and headlights so that they can navigate in rain and darkness. And, with six-wheels and all-wheel drive, curbs, rough paths, and steep hills can be handled with ease.

Students – are you hungry now?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the impact of robots and drones on marketing.
  2. Show a video of the Pepsi SnackBots: https://youtu.be/skUbYVmRogI
  3. More information can be found at Pepsi’s Website: https://www.pepsico.com/news/press-release/pepsicos-hello-goodness-snackbot-is-off-to-college01032019
  4. Information on the robots from Robby: https://robby.io
  5. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  6. Break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
  7. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur?
  8. Debrief by building SWOT analysis grid on the white board.

Source: Ad Week, other news sources

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PepsiCo Buys SodaStream

The beverage market is in a fight to maintain – and grow – market share of soft drinks. And, as sales of soft drinks slow, the beverage industry has been looking for new paths. One recent deal concluded by Coca-Cola was to buy U.K.-based coffee company Costa, giving it entry into the hot drink market. And now PepsiCo has announced that it is buying do-it-yourself carbonation company SodaStream International.

Unlike sugary soft drinks, SodaStream has taken advantage of the growing market for seltzer beverages. Consumers like that seltzers do not have sugar and are calorie-free. This gives consumers drinks that are healthier than the traditional soda drinks. Plus, the do-it-yourself carbonated drinks can be tailored for individual tastes with different fruits and flavors added to the drinks.

According to Beverage Marketing Company, sales of seltzer has increased nearly 42% in the past five years, while soda consumption is at a 31-year low (according to Beverage Digest). SodaStream now has 12.5 million customers, up from 4.5 million in 2012, and sales have increased 31% this year. The product appeals to consumers who are looking for healthier, more environmentally friendly types of drinks.

The beverage war continues. What will happen next?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four primary marketing strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification.
  2. Show a brief video about the purchase: https://youtu.be/Idmv5onpbSs
  3. Have students view PepsiCo’s product assortment: https://www.pepsi.com
  4. Show SodaStream web site: https://sodastream.com/
  5. Which strategy is PepsiCo using by purchasing SodaStream?
  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 SodaStream.
  7. Have each team determine the marketing mix (4Ps) to support their strategy choice.
  8. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Washington Post, New York Times, Fortune, CNBC, TIME, and other news outlets

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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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