When I saw we we’re visiting ConAgra Brands during our trip to Mexico City, I expected an everyday site visit. We would come to the office, meet some of the staff, listen to them talk about their day-to-day roles, take a tour and leave with some Slim Jim’s in hand.
That wasn’t the case. Instead, we had the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in helping the company solve one of their business challenges. One of ConAgra’s brands, ACT II popcorn, hasn’t grown its sales in Mexico as fast as the overall category of salty snacks. We were tasked with conducting research and providing recommendations to help bolster Act II’s performance.
Brand students were broken off into teams of three in order to complete our project. I, along with fellow brand students Emily Gulbrandsen and Marc Wendt, had the opportunity to visit the home of Ivan, a 26-year old aspiring pizza chef from Mexico City. People such as Ivan were who ConAgra was looking to target – young adults who frequently indulge in salty snacks. To learn more about his purchasing and consumption habits, we chatted with Ivan for nearly an hour and a half – probing into every facet of his eating regimen.
From there, our team had the opportunity to visit a Walmart in the city – and we darted straight to the salty snacks aisle. We got an up-close look at the different varieties of Act II, how they’re packaged and the positioning on the shelf in relation to the brand’s competitors. That, along with the visit with Ivan, allowed our team to put together a report about the company’s business problem, our key findings, and recommendations for improving the brand’s sales.
I am excited to see what ConAgra does with the information we have provided them. Regardless of the company’s decision, the opportunity to dive deep into an international business challenge was an invaluable experience -- one that will allow me to have a stronger global perspective on brand managment as I head into my summer internship and my future career as a brand manager.