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Mountain Man Brewing Company Case Analysis

By:   •  November 8, 2016  •  Case Study  •  1,041 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,902 Views

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Mountain Man Brewing Company Case Analysis

In 1925, Guntar Prangel founded the Mountain Man Beer Company. Over the last 80 years, Mountain Man was able to brew a signature beer, the Mountain Man Lager, that has been awarded with “Best Beer in West Virginia” for the last eight years and awarded “America’s Championship Lager”. However, because the beer market has changed a lot in recent years, Mountain Man is experiencing a decline in sales for the first time. This decline has amounted to 4%.

Contrasting this 4% decline for Mountain Man is the 4% increase in the sales for light beers. Younger drinkers are drawn more towards light beers than traditional beer. While, Mountain Man’s target market is blue collar, middle-aged men with low to middle incomes, if they can capture the younger market, they could create more long-term customers and increase sales.

Chris Prangel, the grandson Guntar and, in five years, the owner, has to come up with an idea to combat the company’s declining sales. Prangel is thinking of introducing Mountain Man Light to reach the new, growing market of light beer.

While the solution of light beer is being considered Prangle also has had to consider if the current generation could be as prideful of Mountain Man Lager as the previous ones (Abelli, 2007, p. 2). Another consideration is, can “...he reposition the brand to drive sales of Mountain Man Light to young people without eroding the core brand equity of Mountain Man Lager?” (Abelli, 2007, p. 2). From the case is discussed how the Mountain Man has worked really hard give their beer strong brand, this new direction could hurt the strength of their brand.

Another problem is that Prangle could be is hesitant in making a decision since Mountain man is a multi-generation family business. He could be hesitant to make changes since the company is the legacy of his father and grandfather. Launching the new light beer could open up a whole new market for the company to dive into, but it could also alienate their existing market, hurt their brand image, and cannibalize sales of their existing lager.

Since the current target market of Mountain Man are men 45 years and older targeting younger drinkers by introducing light beer could help gaining more customers and could help with building a new customers into loyal customers. This possible expansion into light beer is definitely important to consider since there is a 4% annual growth of light beer (Abelli, 2007, p.1). This younger drinker is also a fast growing consumer. They are only “13% of the adult population... but accounted for more than 27% of total beer consumption” (Abelli, 2007, p.4). Since the research is showing they are favoring light beers the transition to make Mountain Man into a beer they could be comfortable drinking is an option for the company.

Another option for Mountain Man would be to retarget their company to go after a different category. Looking at the competition, it is split into four different categories; major domestic producers with 74% of the market share, second-tier domestic producers with 12.5%, import beer with 12%, and the craft beer industry with around 1.5% of the market (Abelli, 2007, p. 3). Mountain Man is currently competing in the last category where the competition is tight.

The Mountain Man Lager’s has a “distinctively bitter flavor” (Abelli, 2007, p. 2). This flavor has been one of the cornerstones of the strong brand that the company is very protective of. Similarly, the import beer are described to serve “...beer drinkers who desired more flavorful, bitter-tasting beer products” (Abelli, 2007, p. 3). Since Mountain Man is already making a beer

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