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Feb 17, 2024

Assignment Task

Key Instructions 

  • This assignment is a group presentation
  • Groups may be 3 or 4 persons. Students may select their own groups, and these should be finalised by week 2.
  • The presentations will be held in class and a schedule will be posted on Blackboard. For that week, you need only attend the class for your presentation slot.
  • You will be asked to complete a ‘Group Mate Agreement’ (see example ideas on Blackboard), agreeing the way in which you will work together. This will need to be monitored and attached to your presentation.
  • All members of the group should participate in the preparation of the presentation and participate on the day. All members should be familiar with the full contents of the presentation and be ready to answer questions.

Background and Scenario for the Assignment

Graze was founded in 2008 by a group of friends. The Graze concept is deceptively simple: the company sends customers letter-box-sized, four-portion, healthy snacks boxes tailored to their expressed tastes. While the original core market was office workers, the customer base now encompasses suburban housewives and children, and the original subscription model has been augmented by the online shop and a presence in more than 5000 stores. Graze’s USP is getting people excited about making healthy choices – and that excitement extends beyond the vast, constantly changing, range of snacks on offer (Source: Impact, 2016).

Graze was previously owned by global investment firm Carlyle and during this time Graze experienced strong growth in its delivery service, as well as expansion into retail stores in the U.K. and U.S., with products being stocked in retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Boots, Costco and Target. In 2019, Unilever acquired the London-based brand Graze. Former CEO of Graze, Anthony Flecther wanted Graze to be the No 1 healthy snack brand in the world. In June 2020, Joanna Allen has been appointed as the new CEO of Graze. Graze would like to build on their international market expansion strategy and has taken a decision (assessment scenario) to expand further into European markets (both DTC and retail).

For the purposes of this assessment and the ease of access to research data, the following 10 countries are seen as potential (only for students based in the UK):

1. Austria,

2. Belgium,

3. Denmark,

4. Germany,

5. France,

6. The Netherlands,

7. Sweden,

8. Switzerland,

9. Spain,

10. Portugal.

The scenario for this assignment is as follows:

Graze is seeking to establish which of the countries (see above) would be particularly suitable for further expansion (please note, currently Graze snack boxes can be sent anywhere in the Republic of Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany)

In the role of International Marketing Consultants to Graze, you have been asked to complete the tasks below (see The Assignment Task). In doing so you will need to draw on wider research into the potential market, its potential competitors and customers. Use of Passport and other sources will be imperative.

The Assignment Task

Stage One: identify screening criteria

Develop a set of SIX screening criteria to help evaluate 8 countries. Remember that criteria = conditions that should ideally be present in the chosen country, so be as specific as possible.

Maximum of 6 means just that, please do not break each criteria down into a further

Stage Two: Collect data and create criteria table(s)

Collect relevant secondary data to help assess how your chosen countries perform against the chosen criteria. Data may be a mix of quantitative and qualitative information, but as far as possible use measurable and quantifiable data here – either way you must seek authoritative evidence to inform your criteria.

A range of sources will be introduced in classes; you MUST use the Passport GMID resources and additional sources are welcome.

Create a table or tables which summarises each of the criteria and the data/facts obtained to assess each, with sources referenced by author (year). Aim to get your table(s) on to a maximum TWO slides.

You can use highlighting, a scoring system or whatever else will be helpful to clearly identify, which four countries come out best from the initial eight.

Stage Three: conduct further research and argue for the top two countries

It is never enough to make market selection decisions based largely on quantitative information and often steps 1 and 2 will reveal that the top countries achieve fairly similar scores, or that some will perform well on some criteria and less well on others. So your job for this stage is not just to evaluate what the figures are telling you, but to bring in additional insights from Passport and other sources, which will help the Graze leadership team to really get behind the figures and understand where the best potential might lie – and why your top two are ultimately a better choice. 

Presentation – Instructions

What we are particularly wanting to see in the presentation is a good level of critical evaluation and argument, backed up by good evidence from authoritative sources.

So, having introduced the group,

  1. Show the 6 criteria (on their own, without the countries) and defend your choice of those criteria, why are they particularly suitable and precise for evaluating the different countries and supporting Graze’s market selection? Are some more important than others?

  2. Show the completed criteria table(s) for the eight countries and take the leadership team through the figures (e.g. cross comparing performance against the criteria, so that we can understand the choice of the best four)

  3. Now take the leadership team through your arguments and evidence for choosing the top two countries, why those countries and not the other two from your top four?

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