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Breakfast Foods Inc. - Natural Cereal Case Study

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Case Analysis 3- Natural Cereals Case

Executive Summary-

Sally Thompson, the newly employed assistant branch manager at Breakfast Foods Inc. (BFI), has been given the project in the Natural Cereals’ Division to improve BFI’s market share, which is currently at 14%, in the adult cereal market through advertising and labelling.  The product manager, Joe, is in support of the ad campaign promoting cereal as cancer preventive and Vitamin enriched product. However, the group product manager, Tom, is not completely satisfied with the cancer preventive strategy, though he did not object to it. Also, according to FDA guidelines, Sally realised that the ad might be misleading but Joe is insisting that this campaign will be very successful, which is of prime importance right now. Sally should agree with Joe and formulate the campaign on these guidelines as increasing the sales are imperative, they are not breaking any laws and as Joe is her superior, she cannot supersede it.

Main Report-

Sally is a newly employed assistant branch manager at Breakfast Foods Inc.(BFI). She is responsible for improving the market share of the Natural Cereals’ brand in the adult cereal market. Its share is currently only 14% whereas that of its immediate competitor is 20%. After a detailed analysis of various ad campaigns, she realised that health oriented campaigns, especially those promoting cancer prevention, are the most successful till date and adopting this strategy can increase their market share. After a meeting with Tom and Joe, Sally developed three campaign ideas-

  1. To promote Natural Bran Cereal as Vitamin Enriched product.
  2. To promote the cereal as “Fibre for Health” ,which can help in preventing cancer.
  3. To promote the cereal as high-fibre, low fat natural food which is healthy for people. It would also be promoted in a “Resealable Pack”, give discounts on T-shirt and a cookbook featuring recipes using Natural’s cereal.

Sally’s boss, Joe, decided that they should promote the cereal by combining the first and second ideas as they will  lead to a stronger campaign. He also emphasised that it is imperative for them to make a very strong campaign as otherwise they will suffer.

Sally is in a fix now .Her conscious does not agree with the cancer preventive campaign as there is a lot of evidence against it though Joe has assured her that FTC will not have a problem with it. Also, Tom, the group project manager, did not completely agree to the idea, though Joe convinced her that he will not say no to it.

Criteria for decision making-

  • Sally’s career at BFI.
  • Success of the marketing campaign and increase in market share of Natural Cereals’.
  • Rapport with the boss.
  • Non- violation of FDA guidelines.

Decision Process-

Possible Alternatives:

  1. Agree with Joe and integrate the first and second ideas to formulate the marketing campaign.
  2. Supersede Joe and discuss her reservations about the ad campaign with Tom.

Evaluation of Alternatives-

  1. The first alternative will be the most viable action for Sally as it downright complies with all of the criteria for decision making. Although Sally is conscious about the FDA guidelines, the ad campaign does not break any of the FDA guidelines and the FTC has approved the cancer-preventive ads of other brands. Hence , they would not reject their campaign. Also, Sally cannot disagree with Joe and put her job at stake. Therefore, it is best for Sally to choose the first alternative.
  2. The second option is a very risky alternative for Sally as it does not comply with any of the criteria for decision making. If she supersedes Joe, it will ruin their rapport. Also, if the campaign is unsuccessful, she will be fired from her job. Hence, it is not a good option for her.

Therefore, Sally should go with the first alternative.


Sally should communicate to Joe that she is ready to work on the ad campaign by combining the idea for cancer preventive and Vitamin enriched cereal.  There is a possibility that Tom completely disagrees with the idea and Joe becomes powerless in this regard. In such a situation, Sally should prepare an ad campaign by combining the first and third ideas, which is to promote it as Vitamin enriched , high fibre and low fat.



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