Snacking Away at the Corporate Giants

Snacking Away at the Corporate Giants

September 10, 2020

 

Our waist lines are trying to keep up with the snack industry! Or is it the other way around?

Utz, a family-owned potato chip maker, is growing fast and going public for even faster growth. Over the past few years, acquisitions have proved valuable for the company, but what seems to be an aggressive, offensive strategy may actually be a defensive one. Small, unique brands build a loyal following and eventually get bought up by large corporations. Utz’s CEO is betting that becoming a giant is the best way to keep the company independent and thriving.

 


Video Spotlight: Utz Goes Public for Faster Growth


This post is based on the Forbes article, Exclusive: Utz CEO Talks Family and the 99-Year-Old Company’s Plan to Go Public on Monday, by C. Sorvino, August 28, 2020, and the YouTube video, Pretzel-Maker Utz CEO on Going Public After Nearly 100 Years as a Private Company, by CNBC Television, August 31, 2020. Image source: Â© McGraw-Hill Education.

Discussion Questions:

1. Have snack habits changed during the pandemic? If so, how? Based on your findings, do you think that Utz’s acquisition of other snack companies matches current demand Continue reading

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What Pandemic? Agile Systems Help Sephora Gain Market Share

What Pandemic? Agile Systems Help Sephora Gain Market Share

 

Sephora’s early investments in flexibility have paid off.

Sephora, like most retailers, had to close its stores during the pandemic. Whereas many others struggled to build or shore up an online presence, Sephora shifted gears with little effort. It relied on its inventory system linking brick-and-mortar retail and e-fulfillment facilities as well as on a distribution network with rapid access to most zip codes. Not only did the company meet customers’ expectations, but it also increased market share.

 


Video Spotlight: Sephora Promotes its Safety Guidelines as Stores Reopen


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, How Sephora Flexed its Warehouse Network to Prep for an E-Commerce Onslaught, by E. Cosgrove, August 25, 2020, and the YouTube video, Sephora to Take a Measured and Supportive Approach to Reopening Select Retail Locations in the US, by BusinessWire, May 26, 2020. Image source: Africa Studio / Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. Explain how Sephora’s network design enabled the company to meet demand during the pandemic.

Guidance: Sephora had already built flexibility in its distribution network. Its five warehouses are located in four states (Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah) to ensure coverage of and delivery Continue reading

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Cherry Picking: A Race Against Time

Cherry Picking: A Race Against Time

 

Cherries are a delicate and showy crop with an extremely short window from harvest to consumption.

By contrast, their growers are resilient people, and their pickers are highly skilled individuals with a high tolerance for harsh working conditions. This article describes the requirements for a successful harvest and addresses the challenges growers and pickers face to deliver the quality that consumers demand. It paints a thought-provoking picture of the race to secure the scarce capacity needed to harvest a product that we all take for granted.


Video Spotlight: Essential Workers Needed for Cherry Harvest


This post is based on The New York Times Magazine article, The Scramble to Pluck 24 Billion Cherries in Eight Weeks, by B. Jarvis, August 12, 2020, and the YouTube video, Cherry Farmers Worried About Harvest Season During Coronavirus Pandemic , by ABC10, April 13, 2020. Image source: nosonjai© 123RF.com.

Discussion Questions:

1. For cherry growers, what uncertainties threaten a successful season? How do they affect operations?

Guidance: The uncertainties include weather, foreign competition, lead time, and available capacity in terms of bees, refrigeration, bins, trucks, and most importantly, highly skilled labor. If there is too much rain, fans, wind Continue reading

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