Business Case Studies, Managing in Troubled Times Case Study, Troubled Times, at Perrier

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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

Troubled Times at Perrier

Publication Year : 2005

Authors: Taranjeet Chawla, Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri

Industry: Utilities


Case Code: TRT0021

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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In the mid-1980s, Perrier was the world's best selling mineral water brand. In February 1990, after the detection of contamination in its bottled water, the brand was almost ruined. Nestle bought Perrier in 1992. After several unsuccessful attempts to restructure the company, in March 2004, Nestle announced that Perrier was not profitable enough and proposed voluntary retirement for some of its workers. Perrier's powerful labour union, CGT (Confederation Generale du Travail), opposed the proposal and refused to accept job cuts. Nestle threatened to sell off Perrier or move production elsewhere. With the Nestle management and the CGT at loggerheads, the French finance minister had to intervene to settle the dispute.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To highlight the problems of Perrier and possible actions required to revive the company.

Keywords : Perrier; Nestle; Mineral water; Bottled water; CGT (Confederation Generale du Travail); Labour relations; Nestle Waters France; French mineral water industry; Contamination; 35-hour workweek; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; French labour laws; Green bottle; Naturally sparkling


  • The making of the sparkling giant
  • Perrier's fall from grace
  • The road ahead

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