Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2013

Launching Krispy Natural: Cracking the Product Management Code

by Frank V. Cespedes and Heather Beckham


Pemberton Products is a U.S. market leader in the cookie and bakery snacks segment of the sweet snack market. Looking to expand into the salty snack market, the company acquires Krispy Inc., a maker of salty snack crackers located in the southeastern U.S. To compete with premium cracker brands, Pemberton plans to reformulate and re-launch the Krispy brand as "Krispy Natural," which offers natural ingredients, improved taste, and revised packaging. Market tests in Columbus, Ohio show market share results that are double the company projections while results in 3 cities in the southeastern U.S. fall well below expectations. The marketing director must interpret the market test results, consider possible competitive responses to the new brand, and present his recommendation for a national rollout to the VP of sales and marketing.

Keywords: Data and Data Sets; Competition; Organizational Culture; Management Teams; Brands and Branding; Expansion; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Acquisition; Food and Beverage Industry; Ohio; United States;


Cespedes, Frank V., and Heather Beckham. "Launching Krispy Natural: Cracking the Product Management Code." Harvard Business School Brief Case 913-574, May 2013.