Background and Challenge

A food brand mainstay at the dinner table had made bold investments during the past decade that propelled it to the number-one market share position in its category. Every five years, the company engages in a comprehensive strategic planning process that re-examines corporate goals and takes a fresh look at both the business and growth opportunities. This initiative is highly collaborative and typically involves input from more than 40 company stakeholders, both individually and as part of focused planning taskforces. Senior executives asked L.E.K. Consulting to manage this undertaking and deliver the five-year strategic plan.

Approach and Recommendations

At the heart of the strategic planning process was L.E.K.’s concept of Strategic Market Position (SMP), which helps business leaders understand how to use their competitive “sweet spots” to grow their companies and avoid markets where success is unlikely. First, L.E.K. performed an economic profit analysis, which led to the diagnosis of the core value drivers and SMPs for each business segment.

We then built an objective fact base of the company’s capabilities and marketplace dynamics, which provided a framework of internal and external strategic opportunities to consider. Next, L.E.K. and planning taskforces evaluated the potential opportunities against key corporate goals to further refine and prioritize strategic growth initiatives. These findings provided the blueprint for the company’s five-year strategic plan.


The strategic plan provided a clear roadmap for pursuing key growth initiatives. These included extending the company’s flagship product across new channels and consumer segments, introducing the product portfolio into new, ”value-added” product categories to serve as platforms for long-term growth, and building a compelling offering for Hispanic consumers. The plan also defined comprehensive initiatives for fostering its unique corporate culture, which includes expanding programs with its partners and local communities.

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