Ivey Publishing
Amorim: The Future of Natural Cork
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11 pages (9 pages of text)
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Case (Field)
Case Western/Ivey
In 2015, Corticeira Amorim, S.G.P.S., S.A. (Amorim), the world’s largest cork manufacturer, was facing multiple strategic dilemmas. After enjoying a near-monopoly in the wine stopper market for over 300 years, cork’s reputation had been damaged in the 20th century by concerns over “cork taint,” and the cork industry had been challenged by the resulting disruptive technologies of screw caps and synthetic corks. Amorim needed to rethink its core assumptions, including product design and supply chain strategy. The company had taken a new direction in the previous 15 years, and appeared to have regained a secure niche for the foreseeable future. The family-owned business was now emerging from its comeback and reviewing various strategic options to secure a sustainable future. Should Amorim rely more or less heavily on its wine stopper business in the future? Which form of competition should Amorim confront most directly? Should the company compete primarily based on cost or value?
Learning Objective:
This case is ideal for use at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The primary objectives are to provide students with an example of a net positive business, an industry disrupted by new technology, a situation in which industry executives must make important decisions with incomplete information, and the unique dilemmas that family businesses face. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
  • Discuss the marketing value of a company’s positive environmental impacts, comparing corporate sustainability that is inherent to a company’s primary value-adding processes with sustainability that is “bolted on” as an afterthought.
  • Examine the relationships between a company, its customers, and its suppliers, and assess assumptions about a company’s safe and profitable niche in an industry in transition.
  • Evaluate strategic options for a company’s long-term competitive position, and recommend an appropriate marketing plan based on limited information.
  • Discuss the organizational advantages and disadvantages of management and ownership in a family business.
General Management/Strategy,  International
Portugal, Large, 2015
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