Ivey Publishing
The Chia Co: Offering a Superfood or a Fad?
Product Number:
Publication Date:
Revised Date:
10 pages (6 pages of text)
Product Type:
Case (Pub Mat)
Founded in 2003 by a fourth-generation Australian farmer, John Foss, The Chia Co recognized the demand for healthy food among different segments of consumers and aimed to provide health and wellness to the global community through the production and distribution of chia seeds. Through his creative entrepreneurial skills, Foss encouraged a new Australian agricultural industry, which had unique supply chain practices and an emphasis on sustainability and fair value for farmers. Nevertheless, by 2016, the company was facing several challenges. Some critical issues included demand that overshot supply, threats from other healthy superfoods such as flax seeds and quinoa, and lack of scientific evidence of the health benefits of chia seeds. In this context, Foss needed to determine how to make The Chia Co a world-class market leader in chia seeds and how to overcome supply and demand challenges. If superfoods really were just a fad, he also had to consider what lay in the future for The Chia Co and its products.
Learning Objective:
The case is intended for undergraduate and postgraduate students in courses on entrepreneurship, strategy, and international business. This case deals with creative entrepreneurship, the comparative advantage of nations, business models, and activity maps of The Chia Co. After completing the case, students should be able to do the following:
  • Recognize the skills required to be a creative entrepreneur.
  • Understand how countries gain advantages over other countries in different product categories.
  • Discuss the business model and activity maps for The Chia Co.
  • Understand the different types of capital Foss created through his business venture.
  • Understand the ethical constraints of marketing superfoods.
  • Discuss measures to resolve current challenges faced by The Chia Co.
General Management/Strategy,  Entrepreneurship,  International
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Australia, Small, 2016-2017
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$5.30 CAD / $5.00 USD Printed Copy
$4.50 CAD / $4.25 USD Permissions
$4.50 CAD / $4.25 USD Digital Download
Associated Materials
Translations: Simplified Chinese (10 pages)
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