Mountjoy Sparkling: Creating a Buzz in the Cannabis-Infused Beverage Business
(5 pages of text)
In the summer of 2017, with over half of the United States and a growing number of other countries allowing the use of either medical or recreational marijuana, Mountjoy Sparkling was entering a huge market. Its product, sparkling water infused with marijuana, was targeting consumers who did not like to smoke and wished to avoid the generally high level of sugar in most marijuana edibles. The company faced all of the operational challenges of a start-up, while navigating the legal, financial, and logistical obstacles unique to the marijuana industry. The founder was seeing demand increase. He was seeking venture capital to fund the growth necessary to get big enough fast enough to survive in a market with many competitors and constantly changing regulatory frameworks. He needed to make at least five strategic decisions in terms of product mix, market selection, and distribution.
This case is appropriate for undergraduate or MBA-level courses in entrepreneurship, business strategy, and marketing. The case tests students’ abilities to deal with all of the challenges unique to the marijuana industry, while realizing in the end that Mountjoy Sparkling is in many ways just a regular start-up. The case gives students an opportunity to do the following:
- Identify a start-up’s market competitors and build a matrix of competitive product features.
- Identify ways a start-up can optimize pricing for various distribution models.
- Analyze a start-up’s social media accounts and consider how its advertising stacks up to its competitors.
- Consider what additional market segments offer an entrepreneur the best opportunities for expansion.
United States, Small, 2017
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