The Case Method at the Harvard Business School: Papers by Present and Past Members of the Faculty and Staff

By Malcolm P. McNair | Go to book overview

and a customer in a retail store. By reading and studying the remarks of the two parties to the transaction, students would be led to perceive the importance of consumer attitudes to sellers and would begin to recognize that consumer attitudes and habits are at the base of any sound marketing program.

But there is no inherent reason why the initial case should not be a fairly substantial one which will afford some insight into possible approaches to effective analysis and at the same time serve to indicate the scope of the marketing function, that is, suggest the range of problems which furnish the content of the course. For a number of years a broad case of this sort has been used at the Harvard Business School to introduce the students to Marketing. Typical is the case of Florida Foods, Inc., reproduced below.


FLORIDA FOODS, INC.

Florida Foods, Inc., was organized in the spring of 1945 by the National Research Corporation for the purpose of producing and marketing orange and other citrus fruit juices in frozen concentrate and dry powdered form. Both the frozen concentrate and the dry powder were produced by a high- vacuum process developed by the National Research Corporation during World War II and first successfully used in the manufacture of blood plasma and penicillin. During the early part of 1945, the National Research Corporation constructed a pilot plant in Florida and produced orange juice powder of exceptionally high quality by the high-vacuum process. The NRC did not, however, wish to dissipate its research energy on business problems and therefore formed Florida Foods, Inc.1 Because the product of the pilot plant was of exceptionally high quality and the Army Quartermaster Corps had displayed great interest in the powder, Florida Foods had obtained $2,590,000 through the sale of stock. Of this sum, $1,100,000 was set aside for the purchase of equipment and for construction of a plant in Plymouth, Florida, in the heart of one of the principal orange-producing districts, and the remainder was reserved for working capital. The tract selected for the plant was adjacent to the Seaboard Airline Railway and provided adequate space for expansion. The NRC granted Florida Foods, Inc., an exclusive license to use its process for 20 years. As compensation Florida Foods agreed to pay 2½ % of its net sales of all citrus fruit products, either frozen or dehydrated, for 20 years.

It was expected that the plant would be completed by February, 1946, about the middle of the 1946 orange-picking season, and would have a daily input capacity of 20,000 gallons of fresh juice. Plans called for approximately 100 days of input of fresh juice, the period during which high-quality fruit was customarily available. The anticipated daily output capacity of frozen

____________________
1
The name of the company subsequently was changed to Minute Maid Corp.--ED.

-35-

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