The Beer Cases (A): A-B InBev (Simplified Chinese version)
(10 pages of text)
The Beer Cases present a means to explore the evolution of a rapidly globalizing industry. In 2011, the beer industry had elements of sub-national, national, and global competition. The industry was populated by giants like AB Inbev, as well as national champions, such as Tiger Breweries and Tsingtao, which were aspiring to become major regional and global players. Further, industry players used alternative strategic approaches to meet their objectives for expansion. By focusing on presentations of the strategies of five major beer companies (A-B InBev, Groupo Modelo, Tiger Breweries, Tsingtao, and San Miguel), this set of cases helps to illustrate these points. The format used involves in-class presentations of each case, alongside rigorous questioning from the instructor to not only explore the logic of the analysis and strategy proposed in the presentation for each company, but to also elicit an understanding of the major growth trends and key success factors in the industry. Students can be pushed further to connect the implications of their assumptions about what drives success in beer sales, alongside their understanding of industry growth trends and drivers, to understand models of global competition in this industry, and forecast anticipated outcomes and strategies for the beer companies in this set of presentations. Ultimately, observations about the beer industry — a fairly easy product and industry to understand — can be extrapolated to other industries to see how closely they fit the beer industry. Lessons can also be drawn about how industry pressures influence the four key components of an international expansion strategy: product choice for expansion, market choice for geographic expansion, timing of entry, and mode of entry.
The Beer Cases can be used in a course on strategy, global strategy, or international business. Generally, the cases are best taught near the end of a course as they represent a consolidation of learning. The presentations involve a full analysis of the strategies of these companies, and require an integration of strategies across companies, as well as an understanding of the influence of industry structure, growth, and evolution on company strategy. Further, given that the methodology for the analysis of the cases is a presentation format, the cases can provide some variation on the traditional in-class discussion of cases. The cases work best in MBA and EMBA settings, but can also be used in senior undergraduate classes. The time needed for the presentation and discussion of the core issues is 2.5-3 hours. It is most useful to cover the cases in one continuous session, rather than break up the presentations across two 80-minute sessions held on different days. Continuity of presentation preserves the recentness of the facts and observations so that the necessary integration of beer company strategies can occur. Although the cases are best taught together, it is possible to teach each case as a standalone case, following the assignment questions for each individual case. The San Miguel Corporation case (Ivey Publishing # 9B09M074) has a separate teaching note (# 8B09M74), which facilitates its use as a standalone case.
Accommodation & Food Services
International / Global, Large, 2011
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