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United Cereal Company In Europe Essay

1631 words - 7 pages

1. INTRODUCTION

The European Vice President of United Cereal (UC), Lora Brill, is confronted by a dilemma: to launch a new product called Healthy Berry Crunch as the first ‘Eurobrand’ or not. A wrong decision may destroy her career, especially since Healthy Berry Crunch is not only a new concept of healthy cereal, but also a pioneer of United Cereal’s Eurobrand, which is different from the company’s usual standards. On the other hand, if she makes the right decision, she may be able to grow the company to a whole new level.

United Cereal was established more than one hundred years ago in United States and it entered the European market in 1952. Through decades, the company grew with a strong commitment to “The UC Way”. “Listen to the customers”, “spot the trend make the market”, and “honoring the past while embracing the future” are the mottos, which the company strives to achieve with its every product and brand. Despite being well established for a long time, the company is still struggling in a highly competitive industry.

Although United Cereal’s products are diversified into many different types of foods and beverages, its main source of revenue remains the breakfast cereals market. The real challenge of this market is clearly seen in the European market, where the national tastes and breakfast traditions vary between countries. As a result, its approach in Europe is more complex than in the United States, which causes higher costs and slower processes.

Meanwhile, the company has to respond to its growing competitors and margin pressures by cutting down costs. Therefore, the previous United Cereal’s European Vice President, Arne Olsen, came up with an idea to standardize products in the entire Europe as a single Eurobrand to address the problems, keeping in mind the advantages, as well as the disadvantages of this new concept. However in the end, he failed miserably, since the support from the local Country Managers (CM) was very low.

In the past few years, the increasing demand of healthy and natural foods both in United States and Europe has created a new challenge for the food industry. The United Cereal’s French country manager, Jean-Luc Michel, saw a big opportunity and developed Healthy Berry Crunch for the health-conscious adult segment. However, Michel has to rush its development and test process because of the limited budget and time constraints.

At the same time, Lora Brill, the current European Vice President, considers this chance to deliver Healthy Berry Crunch as the first Eurobrand in the company’s history. Of course, she wants to avoid the mistakes made by her predecessor by restructuring the whole organization and its strategy. This may also come as a challenge, as she may not be able to keep in line with the UC way and the company’s original vision and goal.

So, which option will Lora Brill choose? Should United Cereal launch Healthy Berry Crunch in France? Is it really worth to try launching Healthy Berry Crunch...

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