Kingsford Charcoal Marketing Analysis

Kingsford Charcoal Marketing Analysis

Kingsford Charcoal
Unit 4
12/1/2010

1. Given your analysis of the Kingsford case, what are (or reasonably could be) the key drivers impacting the observed trend towards declining growth rates in recent years?   How would you prioritize these issues?   Make sure that you include your rationale in your answer?

There are many reasons that are leading to a decline in growth rate of the entire charcoal category in the years leading up to 2000 and 2001.   The biggest reason and the toughest for Kingsford to combat is the gas grill.   The perception of gas grilling as easier, faster, and almost the same taste as charcoal grilling has hampered the charcoal category.   With the emphasis on “green” living and environmental consciousness, charcoal and charcoal production and its negative effect on the environment, is another reason people are turning to gas grilling.   Gas grill shipments grew 8 percent in 2000, while charcoal grill shipments dropped 3 percent over the same time period.   Gas grill shipments have increased each year from 1997 through 2000.   Charcoal grills only increased one of those years.
It is very unlikely Kingsford can reverse this trend.   They must strive to slow gas grill usage and remind the grilling public about the advantages of charcoal grilling; better taste, it is a true grilling experience, and the fact that certain charcoal products like Matchlight, are almost as quick as gas grilling.  
Kingsford has a unique advantage in the entire grilling population; name recognition.   They need to parlay this name recognition into the entire grilling population.   Kingsford needs to look at developing products that can be used for gas and charcoal grilling.   Barbecue tools, aprons logoed similar to a bag of charcoal, grill covers, and even developing or branding gas grills are various options on working with the gas grill market.   Much of this market penetration could be partnerships with other companies requiring minimal capital investment.   Even...

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