Smuckers Case Study

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1. What is J. M. Smucker Company’s corporate strategy? What common strategy elements are shared across its brands? Did it make sense for Smucker to expand its business lineup beyond jams, jellies, and preserves? Why or why not? During the J.M. Smucker Company’s transition in 2000-2001, Richard Smucker stated “Our strategy is to own and market Number 1 brands, sold in the center of the store, in North America. The real money in supermarkets is made in the middle of the store, where processed foods and well-known brands reign supreme.” Smuckers shares this strategy across all its brands, and because of this their sales have increased a great deal from 2000 to 2010. Not only did it make sense to expand their business beyond jams, jellies, and preserves, but it may have saved them. After acquiring Jif and Crisco in the beginning of their transition, and then acquiring other various brands such as Hungry Jack, Pillsbury and Folgers, they have become one of America’s biggest producers of breakfast foods and beverages. Without these business ventures, it is unsure whether Smuckers would have survived. Because the processed food industry is ever-changing, businesses must find ways to stay competitive. Smuckers not only did this, but came out on top. 2. What is your evaluation of Smucker’s business lineup and its acquisitions since 2002? How attractive is the processed foods industry? How strongly positioned are the company’s brands in each segment of the industry? What does a 9-cell industry attractiveness/business strength matrix displaying J. M. Smucker’s business units look like? By acquiring the specific brands that they chose, they have a consistent brand lineup. I believe they have a great image and by only choosing brands in a certain niche of the market, they were able to keep their somewhat breakfast-oriented appeal and expand their company.

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