Case Detail

Case Summary

Sugar & Spice Desserts: Strategic Position Defensibility

Case Number: 5-411-753, Year Published: 2012

HBS Number: KEL623

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Authors: Stephanie Kahn; Mark Skeba

Key Concepts

Competition, Cost Accounting, Productivity, Service Strategy, Strategic Positioning


Sugar and Spice and Sparkles are two companies in the high-end cupcake market that have chosen two different competitive and operating strategies. Sugar and Spice has configured its operations to emphasize a high level of customization. Sparkles has a strategy that emphasizes a narrower range of products. Based on data collected by Sugar and Spice, the question is whether its position is at risk. The case focuses on Sugar and Spice and the defensibility of its position using its current operating system. The issue requires students to compare the competitive and operating strategies of both companies and to identify and evaluate the sources of cost differences in their operations.

Learning Objectives

The objective of this case is to illustrate how to determine whether a strategic position of a firm is defensible using trade-off curves.

Number of Pages: 10

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Management

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Food and Beverage

Decision Maker Position: CEO

Decision Maker Gender: Female

Year of Case: 2011