Cowgirl Chocolates_Final Version .doc

Cowgirl Chocolates_Final Version .doc - Lindsay Aurig and...

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Lindsay Aurig and Lilian Kwok MKT 425 Cowgirl Chocolates Case Analysis Dr. Arsenault Intro Cowgirl chocolates started in Moscow, Idaho, in 1997 by artists Marilyn Lysohir and her husband, Ross Coates. Marilyn’s love for chocolate and things that are hot and spicy, and her brother’s idea to combine the two, led Marilyn experimenting in the kitchen where Cowgirl Chocolates started. These award-winning chocolates and packaging design creates a fantastic product and experience for consumers. Unfortunately, however, without any clear direction, business expertise or idea of who this target market consists of, this business continues to build debt. While Marilyn has is an excellent artist, she doesn't know what she's doing and what to do to improve her gross margins as a spicy chocolate business owner. Strengths: An ad for these spicy chocolates will appear in the Chile Pepper magazine which is a leading magazine for people who like fiery foods. Marilyn is popular and an internationally known ceramicist and lecturer. Her artist skills show in the packaging/tins she created for her product. Packaging for this product is so excellent that it has won awards. There is a decent product margin because someone else is making the chocolates for her. Spicy chocolates are a great product idea. Additionally, this product has proven its likeability among consumers after winning numerous awards from fiery foods competitions in the United States. The combination of this great product and its packaging creates an experience for consumers as well as an excellent gift idea. There is product variety and different levels of spiciness/hotness to these chocolates. Products expand outside of chocolates such as novelty items like t-shirts. T-shirts are an excellent souvenir as well as continuing advertisement for this product at a low cost. Seattle Chocolates, where Cowgirl Chocolates are sourced, sources raw chocolate from world-renowned Schokinag of Germany. Seattle Chocolates is intrigued by the Cowgirl Chocolates product idea and its owners. Seattle Chocolates has gone as far as displaying Cowgirl Chocolates on its table at important events. Weaknesses: Marilyn keeps feeding her 4-year-old business with her own money which is not a smart move for entrepreneurship The pricing (wholesale price) of these chocolates confuses consumers. The price range varies widely (from a $4 price point to a $150 price point) which will distort consumers perceptions of this product and/or lose consumer interest. 50% of the sales come from the lowest priced product There are unnecessary costs that need to be cut out such as the fresh cream from a local Moscow dairy and the additional packaging step that ensures the tins and bags were packaged as Marilyn wanted (which costs $1.00 per tin).
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