Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, HUNTER, Jason, MARKS, Brian, MORTENSEN, Wayne
This case examines the competitive environment of the US wine industry in 2001, prior to [yellow tail]’s launch. The case demonstrates how the industry was overcrowded, highly competitive, and increasingly squeezed at the distribution and retail stages of the supply chain. Even though the industry was intensely competitive, wine manufacturers have systematically competed along the same set of factors that have hardly changed over the last few centuries.
In July 2001, Australia’s Casella Winery introduced [yellow tail] into this highly competitive US market. Small and unknown, they had expected to sell 25,000 cases in their first year. In fact, they had sold nine times that amount. By the end of 2005, [yellow tail]’s cumulative sales were tracking at 25 million cases. [yellow tail] soon emerged as the overall best selling 750ml red wine, outstripping Californian, French and Italian brands. This case examines the strategic move executed by [yellow tail] that made it the number one imported wine and the fastest growing brand in the history of the US and Australian wine industries.
The case is accompanied by a two-part video, available here at blueoceanstrategy.com upon request for professors only, called Creating a Blue Ocean in the US Wine Industry that is free for instructor download. Request material here. Part A provides a visual overview of the wine industry setting pre-[yellow tail]. It is a powerful complement to the paper case. Part B explores, through interviews with the principal players behind the launch of [yellow tail], the development and execution of Casella’s blue ocean strategic move. The case comes with a comprehensive teaching note and is excellent for both MBAs and executives.