Case Study: Ceres Gardening Company 1.1 Sales and customers - Ceres operates in the organic gardening market, a $350M industry that is growing at 8% to 10% annually. Ceres’ products include certified organic plants and seeds for vegetables, culinary herbs, flowers, and live plants like fruit trees. Ceres sells 80% of its products by acting as a supplier to nurseries and garden centers, and 20% direct to customers through its online channel. Its customer base is comprised of serious gardeners, as well as weekend hobbyists who take a more relaxed approach to gardening. Sales tend to be seasonal, with the majority occurring over the course of 4-- 5 weekends per year, as the gardening season is dependent upon weather. 1.2 Productions and operations - Ceres has farms and distribution networks in central California and Pennsylvania. It also buys from from a network of small, independent organic farms. As sales are seasonal, production is assumed to be seasonal. Ceres uses independent sales representatives and its own sales force to maintain the company relationship with sales channel. 1.3 Management and personnel - Jonathan Wydown, CEO, founded the company in 1989. In 2002, Annette O’Connel joined the company as the vice-president of Marketing and helped expand the sales force with the addition of many independent sales representatives. There is no information about the number of employees, but it is assumed to be of fair size since Ceres’ needs a relatively large sales force to to serve its approximately 10,000 dealers. 1.4 Strategy - Ceres evaluates its success by measuring its annual growth against growth of the organic gardening industry. Ceres strategy has been to appeal to a wholesome reputation of producing high quality organic products to customers in the United States.
- Fall '14
- organic farming, Ceres