220 words short Marketing discussion answer

This question is adapted from a real case.

It’s one of the most stressful points of weekday life, according to consumer research. Dinner planning is “the highest intensity pain point” during the week, says Katherine Wintsch, founder of The Mom Complex, a consulting firm that studies moms. “Usually around 4 p.m.”

For Holly MacMillan of Athens, Ga., the weekday dinner crush often kicks off with a dreaded phone call at work from her husband around 4:45 p.m. “Have you had a moment of inspiration about dinner?” she says he asks. “It’s awful,” says Ms. MacMillan, 41, vice president of marketing for a money management firm and the mother of three children ages 7, 5 and 1. “I’m like, I’m in the middle of a meeting, no,” she says.

The target market of women like Ms. MacMillan is a lucrative one. Companies say these are homes where women—and increasingly men—like to cook when time allows, and they generally spend more on groceries. Planning dinner is the most stressful part of the day, she adds. On weekends, Ms. MacMillan serves dishes such as scallops breaded in panko and wrapped in bacon. But by Wednesday, meal planning often “goes sideways,” she says. Out comes the microwavable Bob Evans Macaroni and Cheese and frozen peas, a meal that takes just minutes to prepare and that her kids love.

Weeknight dinner is “a bit like Groundhog Day. You solve for it and then you think about it again the next day. That amplifies the stress,” says Darren Serrao, vice president and general manager of innovation and business development for Campbell Soup Co. According to Jen Wulf, consumer insights manager for the brands at ConAgra, “The most popular day of the week to use P.F Chang’s brand frozen skillet meals is Wednesday” because you pour the complete meal into a pan and heat.

Kraft Foods Group Inc. has spent about 18 months developing its new line of products, which include items such as Asian Fish Tacos and Verde Chicken Enchiladas. Kraft created recipes for the oven, slow cooker and skillet.

Assume now that Kraft is now getting ready to launch their new Verde Chicken Enchilada. Besides developing the advertising campaign to go with it, Kraft needs to decide on the final packaging of the product. The assistant product managers at Kraft have developed two slightly different versions of the Enchilada. One version has all the spicy sauce in one packet, and the other has two packets, which need to be combined. The assistant managers can’t decide which version is the best approach. The two-packet team argues that although the difference in taste quality between the two versions is subtle, the target market will notice (and prefer) the superior taste delivered by the two-packet version. The one-packet team argues that taste quality is less important to these busy, stressed consumers.

Assume both teams have come to you, a senior Kraft product manager, for a decision. Which version do you recommend? Begin your answer with either “One” or “Two,” then briefly defend your recommendation, explaining why it is superior to the other alternative.

220 words minimum (300 max). Must be original work.


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