Case | HBS Case Collection | December 1994 (Revised March 1996)

Ciba Consumer Pharmaceuticals' Acutrim: Challenges and Opportunities in Today's Diet Industry

by Nancy F. Koehn and Rebecca Voorheis

Abstract

Since its introduction in 1983, Acutrim has been a major player in the U.S. appetite suppressant market and in the broader diet industry. This case focuses on the strategic, regulatory, marketing, and financial challenges this product and the rapidly changing diet industry pose for Ciba Consumer Pharmaceuticals as part of a large public corporation. Within this context, the case is intended to introduce students to the $33 billion diet industry and to elucidate some of the economic, cultural, and psychological factors that help shape the market for diet products, low-fat and health entrees, and a wide variety of foods in prosperous economies.

Keywords: Product Marketing; Market Design; Industry Structures; Public Ownership; Problems and Challenges; Opportunities; Food and Beverage Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;

Citation:

Koehn, Nancy F., and Rebecca Voorheis. "Ciba Consumer Pharmaceuticals' Acutrim: Challenges and Opportunities in Today's Diet Industry." Harvard Business School Case 795-043, December 1994. (Revised March 1996.)