I. Executive Summary
Jill Harms is the assistant Category Manager for the Nuts, Natural Snacks and Cookies Category at Sathers, Inc., with a half year of experience behind her. The Sathers brand dates back to 1936, beginning with cookies while later adding candy, nuts and natural snacks to the brand’s offerings. Per Sathers President, William Bradfield, the company’s goal is “to be profitable, continue to grow, with a focus on candy.” Future growth strategies include the growth of the nut, natural snacks and cookie product line, but the intent is for candy to be the core product line. Sathers prides itself on providing value that includes product quality, variety, availability, price, packaging and quantity. Sathers has a market advantage with its fast distribution model that controls the product from production to the retail market.
Sathers has targeted the product category that Jill represents for growth, with the new Snacks to Go developed as part of the strategy. The initial product line introduction produced sales results that did not meet expectations. Jill must make recommendations to the company’s Director of Marketing, Mike Halverson, on the future of the Snacks to Go product line, with possible course of action including new market research, a different marketing approach, adding candy or cookies, price adjustments or abandoning the product all together.
II. Situational Analysis
Phase 1: The Environment
1. Economic Conditions and Trends
a. Candy consumption in the U.S. is on the rise in the 10 year period preceding the case, with 16 lbs per capita in 1986 increasing to 22 lbs in 1994.
b. Growth is seen in part due to an increase in societal health consciousness allowing more people to be rewarded with a candy product.
c. Sathers Two for $1.00 brand is likely to do better in poor economic conditions.
d. The majority of candy buying decisions are made at the point of purchase.
e. The market research indicates that the...