Case Detail

Case Summary

From Banker to Baker: Enjoy Life Foods

Case Number: 5-208-250, Year Published: 2008

HBS Number: KEL391

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Authors: Ava Thompson Greenwell; Tracey Robinson-English

Key Concepts

Sales, Selling, Entrepreneurship, Health Foods, Marketing Channels, Small Business Management


Having started Enjoy Life Foods with a classmate at the Kellogg School in the business plan writing class, Scott Mandell had grown from a business plan , Mandell was ready for the next step, a move onto the national stage with Whole Foods. He estimated product promotion would cost several thousand dollars more than revenues in the first year. If sales fell short of his plan, his losses would soar. If sales forecasts were met, the company would achieve profitability in the time period Mandell promised to investors.

In the meeting with Whole Foods representative, Mandell spoke about the uniqueness of the hypoallergenic snacks and presented the company’s ability to grow sales. When he finished his sales pitch, the Whole Foods representative told him he liked the product, but had no room for it on the shelves.

Mandell was put on the spot and needed to think quickly. He might not get another chance to convince the Whole Foods representative to make room for Enjoy Life Foods. He had just seconds to think of a response before the representative walked out the door for another meeting.

What could Mandell say to make the representative see the value in taking a chance on Enjoy Life Foods? What creative solutions to the “shelf space” dilemma could he offer?

Learning Objectives

This case:

  • Shows how an entrepreneur prepares his sales pitch to an established national grocery chain
  • Examines the motivations of a corporate purchasing agent versus a small store owner, including decision-making points, timelines needed to make a decision, and purchase order terms
  • Demonstrates the opportunity cost factor in selling to small versus large customers
  • Shows the distinctive sales strategies needed to sell as a new entrant in a mature marketplace
  • Number of Pages: 22

    Extended Case Information

    Teaching Areas: Entrepreneurship, Management, Marketing

    Geographic: United States, Midwest

    Industry: Food

    Organization Name: Enjoy Life Foods

    Organization Department: Sales

    Organization Size: Small

    Decision Maker Position: Founder, CEO, Head of Sales

    Decision Maker Gender: Male

    Year of Case: 2005