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Competitive Strategies Case Study

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Case Title:

Hershey vs Mars: The Candy Store War

Publication Year : 2008

Authors: Manu Krishna, Bharathi S. Gopal

Industry: Food, Diary and Agriculture Products

Region:US

Case Code: COM0219B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Abstract:

Hershey and Mars had been rivals in the chocolate industry for decades, and had shown no signs of backing off from the way they had competed so far. The greatest irony was that, Mars and Hershey were partners in chocolate making way back in the 1930s. And when they split, it was said that, Mars vowed to replace Hershey as the number one chocolate maker in the US. But till 2006, Hershey had been going in full throttle and held the top position in the US market. Though Hershey was on the top, it faced new threats when its share price came down, the sales declined, and Mars started taking them head-on in the retail front too. So is the vow that was taken decades back getting fulfilled and will Mars overtake Hershey in 2007?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss how the trend of health consciousness affects the chocolate industry
  • What strategies Hershey should adopt to counter competition from Mars
  • Discuss rivalry and competition of Pepsi and Coke or of companies in other industries
  • The newest trends in chocolate retailing.

Keywords : Business Rivalry; US Chocolate Industry; Competitive Strategies Case Study; Chocolate Retailing; Gourmet Chocolates; M&M World; Health and Wellness Products; Hershey; Mars

Contents : 
The US Confectionary Industry
The Hershey Company
Clash of the Titans
Rivalry Between Brands
Rivalry on the Retail Front
Timeline of Hershey and Mars
The M&MWorld in Las Vegas

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