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Case Study Exercise/The Rise of Gelato and Gelato Messina

MPK732 – Marketing Management Case Study, Trimester One, 20161
The Rise of Gelato and Gelato Messina
Compiled by Dr Nichola Robertson, Deakin University
Adapted materials from Business Review Weekly and other sources
Industry background
No matter the season or region, there’s one Italian dessert that never fails to
please: gelato. After staying in the cold shadows of ice cream for years, gelato
has finally come into its own. The international market for gelato is on the rise,
with global players, such as Nestle and Unilever pushing their gelato brands in
order to capitalise on the hot consumer interest in this frozen treat. See, for
example, the following advertisements for Unilever’s gelato brand, Breyers and
Nestle-owned Haagen-Dazs gelato:

Niche operators that provide premium gourmet gelato products have also been
extremely successful over the past five years (IBIS, 2015). While supermarkets
and grocery stores are a strong source of sales of gelato, the marketplace is also
increasingly crowded with gelaterias (gelato shops). In Australia, you can usually
spot the gelateria from the queue that winds down the pavement in front.
Gelato, meaning “ice” in Italian, is an Italian-style ice cream made with an
endless variety of intense flavors not typically found in ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Although gelato is most often compared to ice cream, gelato is a lot creamier,
denser and thicker by the way it’s made. It’s whipped at a lower speed, which
means less air goes into it as opposed to ice cream, and traditionally involves a
lot of egg yolk, rather than cream.
MPK732 – Marketing Management Case Study, Trimester One, 2016
Consumer behaviour
The popularity of gelato with consumers can be attributed to several factors.
First, it is a healthier option than ice cream, with half of the fat content. Second, it
also fits with consumers’ desire for things that are handmade and artisan.
Consumers want an authentic experience and are also looking for permission to
indulge. Finally, consumer mobility means, “more and more people are traveling
internationally. They are getting exposure to these delicious treats,” said Nick
Soukas, director of ice cream at Unilever. “They come back home, and they are
looking for that similar experience.”
Consumers are becoming more sophisticated in what they look for in a good
quality gelato. For far too long people have been served gelato with artificial
flavours and colouring, but now discerning gelato consumers focus on real
seasonal ingredients, a quality product, and time and care in the production of
their favourite scoops.
Good quality gelato tells a story. For example, according to Cady Behles,
Haagen-Dazs brand manager, “Leisurely strolls through the piazza at dusk, an
appreciation of centuries-old craftsmanship and a love of food that borders on
obsession, these are the essential Italian moments we had in mind when creating
Haagen-Dazs Gelato.”
For more on gelato making and marketing generally, please watch the following
YouTube clip, Gelato University Bologna:

MPK732 – Marketing Management Case Study, Trimester One, 2016
Company exemplar: Gelato Messina
It’s Thursday night and about 80 people are queuing along Victoria Street in
Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst. It’s 20 minutes before Cassie Meares
reaches the front, but instead of paying a cover charge to enter a hot new bar
she orders a scoop of peanut and caramel slice mashed into a cone. Price: $6.
Meares, 26, is supposed to be Gen-Y impatient, but she says lining up for ice
cream from one of Australia’s favourite gelaterie, Gelato Messina is part of an
experience played out nightly at its five stores in Sydney and Melbourne.
The friendly queue represents a cross-section of inner suburbia, of age groups
and income brackets, all wanting gluttonous scoops of complex flavours made by
hand at the Gelato Messina factory in the Sydney suburb of Roseberry.
Declan Lee, a director and co-founder, says the gelato is popular because it’s
outstanding – but the lines are baffling. “We often get asked why people always
line up … I really don’t know,” he says.
The rise and rise of Gelato Messina in recent years is in contrast to Wendy’s, the
US-based ice-cream vendor whose franchise list in Australia has shrunk from a
high of 300 in the 1990s to about 250. On Friday, Wendy’s Canberra outlet in
Westfield Woden switched off its soft serve machine for the last time.
Retailing consultant Nicole Venter of Retail Oasis says diners were avoiding big
bills at the end of a meal and instead buying the best thing they can get for a
small price. “People want authenticity, and that’s why they’re prepared to line up,”
she says. “In the past you paid for fine dining if you wanted an experience –
people aren’t prepared to pay those prices any more but still want an experience,
they will hunt it out and follow it.” Venter says the novelty of lining up for an “it”
brand offering an authentic version of a much-loved dessert was Messina’s
MPK732 – Marketing Management Case Study, Trimester One, 2016
winning formula.
The migration away from quick food service into casual dining was reflected in
the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures that showed 17 per cent growth
in casual dining year-on-year and a two per cent decline in fast food patronage.
Landlords are increasingly keen to sign on Messina as a crowd puller. It
was among the first retail tenants Lend Lease signed on to its $6 billion
Barangaroo project. The gelato brand is becoming a linchpin, an anchor tenant in
its own right.
Lee said buying a scoop of high-end ice cream was one way to enjoy a night out
for five bucks, amid an economic mood where cautious consumers were
reluctant to spend up on a $100-plus meal. But Messina has also created
something rare for a food retailer: a cult-like following and community. Lee has
built up 50,000-strong social media communities each on Facebook, Instagram
and Twitter. Messina has capitalised on the social media trend of sharing food
photos, launching six special flavours a week, which are shared among fans.
For more on Gelato Messina’s product, please watch the following YouTube clip,
Gelato Messina – Behind the Scenes:

Future growth or fad
Given the saturated nature of the gelato industry, future growth is likely to
depend on innovation and new product development. Although, some
might question whether the rise of gelato and the gelateria, such as the
popular Gelato Messina is simply a fad
Summative Assessment Task One: Case Study Exercise/The Rise of Gelato and Gelato Messina
The Rise of Gelato and Gelato Messina
2500 word written piece (problem and solution format)
Weight = 25%
To be completed in a group of two to three members
Due date and time:
Monday 9 May (beginning of week nine) by 11.59pm EST
Your brief
A case study typically is an accurate, historical record of a business situation that
actually has been faced by business executives. The main aim of using the case
study method is to allow you the opportunity to translate theory into practice in a
business situation that is as close to real world experience as possible. The
marketing situation(s) depicted in the case reflects the uncertainty of the real-world
marketing environment, and the reality of any practical situation. You will have to
master the art of sifting through all types of information, which is often incomplete, not
presented in the correct order, and may even be irrelevant or misleading, to solve the
problems posed.
You may find, and be frustrated by the fact, that in some situations there appears to
be no single “right” solution to the problem. There are likely to be multiple
approaches, each one with a different implication for the organisation, and each
involving different trade-offs.
Since the case study problems may be approached at times from different
perspectives, your main task will be to argue correctly the logic of, and evidence for,
your solutions to the problems at hand. The importance of the case study exercise is
to emphasise how you arrived at your solution, rather than just emphasise the
solution itself.
Learning outcomes
The case study exercise is used in MPK732 to assess the following unit learning
outcomes (ULOs):
ULO1, Evaluate the key concepts, models and theories upon which the practice
of marketing is based: The case study analysis enables you to reflect on and
critique the “key concepts, models and theories” addressed in MPK732.
ULO2, Apply the fundamental principles involved in managing marketing: The
case study analysis requires you to apply the fundamental principles of marketing
management to a real world marketing situation.
ULO3, Analyse marketing problems and be capable of applying relevant
concepts, models and theories to generate appropriate solutions: The case
study analysis enables you to solve problems using previously acquired knowledge. It
also engages you in research and reflective discourse for the purpose of problem
ULO4: Communicate an in-depth understanding of a range of issues, practices,
models and phenomena in marketing: The case study analysis completed in
groups exposes you to different viewpoints and commentaries on marketing.
Students need to communicate with one another to successfully complete the
analysis, and as a group they need to effectively communicate with the reader of their
case study analysis.
Case study analysis is used in MPK732 to assess the following higher-order Deakin
graduate learning outcomes (DGLOs):
DGLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities: The case study analysis
enables you to reflect on and demonstrate your marketing management knowledge
and capabilities.
DGLO2: Communication: The case study analysis assists in developing your
communication skills. It allows students to learn from one another via effective
communication. Students also need to communicate well with the reader of their case
study analysis.
DGLO4: Critical thinking: Case studies require you to critique the theory addressed
in the unit and to assess its usefulness as it applies in the real world. This makes
your learning clearly relevant to “real” situations.
DGLO5: Problem solving: Case studies are a commonly used method of problembased
learning. Typically, using a case study aims to develop your reasoning,
problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Getting started
Read the case study as soon as possible! A prompt start will give you time to “tune”
into the case study. In particular, there is an amazing amount of relevant background
information publicly available that will have some bearing on the marketing situation
described in your case. Keep a look out for it! Academic journals and books,
newspapers, magazines and television are an especially good place to start your
information search. Collect anything that you think may help to enrich your analysis.
You can always discard any irrelevant material later.
Now focus on the specific case problems posed (see page three). These problems
have been designed so that you can apply the theory from the unit to the practical
case study to arrive at solutions. Critically evaluate and add to the existing
information provided in your case study by:
• Continuing to read journal, newspaper and magazine articles on your topic.
• Looking for current event type television programs and published brochures, etc.
that may be relevant to your topic.
• Observing the industry that the case is based on.
Please note: In this assignment, you are expected to utilise the extensive
amount of research conducted in the discipline of marketing and related
fields, to extend your knowledge. Please do NOT rely solely on your own
opinions, personal experience, and the case study and other materials that
you have been provided.
Case study problems
1. Conduct a segmentation analysis of the gelato market. b) The gelato market is
increasingly crowded, thus brand positioning is paramount. How would you
position a new gelato brand targeted to one of the segments that you identified
in part a Please justify the target market and positioning chosen.
2. The case study includes several contradictions about consumer choice and
desires, such as impatient Gen Ys queuing for gelato, and buying “authentic”
products from brands such as Haagen-Daaz. Using consumer behaviour
theory, how would you explain these contradictions
3. Evaluate the marketing mix (4Ps) of Gelato Messina. Are there any
improvements that you would recommend to Gelato Messina’s owners
regarding its marketing mix Please ensure that you justify your response.
Please note that the case study does not provide full information on Messina’s
marketing mix, so you will need to conduct further investigation into it.
Presenting your case study analysis
The case analysis should be presented in “problem and solution” format. The
following elements need to be included in the written analysis that you submit:
Cover page: Your final work should include a cover page with the work’s title, your
names and student numbers, name of your unit chair, name and code of the unit, and
the date of submission (not included in the word count).
Main body: The main body should provide analysis of the THREE case study
problems posed. Use headings and sub-headings, and figures and tables, etc. to
help explain your points and to keep your arguments concise.
References: A complete citation of all work/research of others referenced should be
included in a list of references (not included in the word count). Harvard system of
referencing should be used throughout the main body.
Further instructions
Due date and submission
Monday 9 May (beginning of week nine) by 11.59pm EST. Please submit only ONE
copy per group.
Extensions to the date for submission of your case study analysis will be considered
only if a written request is submitted and negotiated with the Unit Chair at least one
week prior to the due date. Extensions are only granted for unexpected and
extenuating circumstances.
Work commitments are not considered sufficient reason for late submission of
Assignments submitted late without an extension being granted will not be marked.
These will be held until final grading and may be taken into consideration in a
pass/fail situation. Please note that for an assignment to be considered in this
manner it must be submitted no more than seven [7] days after the stated due date
for submission. Further, if you find yourself in this situation the Faculty of Business
and Law policy in these cases is that students need to achieve at least 45% overall
for any concessions for your late assessment to be taken into consideration.
Group sign-up
Please sign-up to a group via CloudDeakin. Please click on the “More” tab and then
select “Groups”. If you are an MBA student, please select “Cluster A, MBA only” to
sign-up to a group. For students in ALL other courses, e.g., MBA(I), MCom, etc.
please select “Cluster B, ALL OTHER COURSES” to sign-up to a group. The
rationale for the separate sign-up to groups for MBA students is that they have
considerable managerial work experience and, therefore, their learning experience is
different. Hence, the MBA course team has determined that the MBA student cohort
should work together in student groups. Students in ALL OTHER COURSES can
work in groups across courses.
All assignment feedback will be provided via the rubric for the case study
exercise (see the assignment resources folder) and returned to you via
CloudDeakin. Please see the relevant rubric in the assessment folder for
assignment one.
Word limit
Please note that 2500 words is the maximum word limit for ALL assignments –
quantity does not equal quality. The word limit includes all material that you wish the
assessor to read. This includes tables and figures. The cover page and reference list
are not counted in the word limit.
Notes on written submissions
1. All submissions should be 1.5 spaced. Allow a minimum of 25mm (1”) on left,
right, top and bottom margins. All pages should be numbered.
2. Do not use first person, e.g., “I” and “we” and avoid colloquialisms and clichés.
3. All tables and figures need to be numbered and labelled and referred to as
such in the text before they appear.
4. You should adopt the Harvard system of referencing, i.e., in text referencing
(e.g., Harrison, Bednall and Robertson, 2016). All quotations and references
should be properly sourced. Inadequate details of publications and other
sources will reduce the assessed grade.
5. The assignment will be assessed as a complete piece, i.e., all members of a
group are responsible for its overall quality. Whether you work in a group of
two or three members, all members are responsible for the quality of the entire
6. Rewrite until it is clear and interesting. The first draft never works. Proofread to
eliminate obvious errors. Even better, ask someone else to proofread.
Correctness and accuracy in spelling, syntax, grammar and punctuation are
expected at post-graduate level. Readers will think that small errors are due to
a lack of care and generalise about your analysis.
7. Treat your submission the same way you would treat a professional work
submission. Get it in on time, at a level of quality that you would be happy to
hand to your boss.

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