General Mills (A)

Case Solution

Raymond Gilmartin, Marco Iansiti, Bianca Buccitelli
Harvard Business School ()

In June 2004, Jim Murphy experienced a crisis as the newly appointed vice president of the food division at one of General Mills’ key brands, Hamburger Helper. The metrics for this brand have generally been on the decline, with marketing margin, volume, penetration, buy rate, facets, and ad target score. Additionally, Hamburger Helper faced an increasingly competitive environment in the dining category, as Kraft, Lipton, ConAgra, and Campbell’s recently launched. A brainstorming session by the Hamburger Helper brand management team resulted in two possible solutions: (1) reducing production costs by simplifying the Hamburger Helper line by reducing product complexity and eliminating less successful SKUs, and (2) Rethink the way you do it Innovation has been used in brand development. How should Jim Murphy and his brand management team reverse this brand crisis?

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