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Synopsis of the Situation

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Synopsis OF the situation

General Mills In., a US based company, was the sixth largest food manufacturer in world. The operations were divided in three segments. U.S Retails, International and Food services. General Mills Canada (GMCC ) was the second largest division with in the international segment with annual sales of US$566 million. The Canadian division was further segmented in four product lines Breakfast, baked goods, meals and snacks. Canadian refrigerated backed goods market was dominated by GMCC's Pillsbury with 85% market share. The Pillsbury Refrigerated baked goods had a large segment of backed cookies having 62 per cent of total unit volume.

Key Issues

Ivan Guillen was the marketing manager on RBG segment in GMCC in October 2006. He was facing a regression in business recital on his category. Being 4th largest category of GMCC it volume growth in past two years had been flat and house hold penetration had fallen to a five year low.

Guillen was focused on refrigerated-cookies product which had 62 per cent unit's sales and 77 per cent of total category profit. The annual increment in cookies segment was one per cent and house hold segment had fallen. Improving this particular segment will increase overall performance of the category.

For that Guillen arranged a market survey focused on Canadian market which was not done before.

Problem definition

Based on market research the focal problem was the focused consumers of the brand. Pillsburry RBG targeted consumer was a mother in their 30s and 40s managed an active and busy life. While the usage and attitude research resulted that the Kids are the key players in purchase of the cookies.

Easiness and convenience was considered as key factor in baking before. The In-Home immersion visits and discovery workshops revealed that in baking the driving factors are stimulated happy moments while baking with family and mothers feel cookies special because they were made by sharing and giving.

Alternative Solutions

The Substitute solutions of the given problems is the new business plan which should include strategy focusing on Canadian based target market.

The first solution should be the separate marketing plans for Canadian market. New advertisements concentrating on the defined problem can be tried. This will improve the purchase frequency and house hold penetration to high extent. On the other hand it will increase the marketing expenses too.

The second solution is to include incentives of newly discovered consumers to existing target consumers like effective packaging techniques for this segment which attract the new revealed consumers segment to increase purchase drive, this should increase

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