Mu oz Group: Sustaining Global Vertical Integration Through Innovation
The Mu oz Group, a vertically integrated fruit, flower, juice and ice cream supplier, was at a strategic crossroads. What was the best way to achieve profit goals and provide the company with sustainable competitive advantage? Mu oz Group, which supplied supermarket chains and food distribution chains around the world with fruit, flowers, juice and ice cream, was at a strategic crossroads in 2014. CEO Alvaro Mu oz had to choose the best way to achieve profit goals and provide his company with a sustainable competitive advantage. The company had already developed innovative citrus, grape and flower breeding units in efforts to keep its product pipeline on the cutting edge. The company also worked to integrate vertically-to own or control every viable piece of the supply chain-in an effort to manage the flower and produce businesses from plant to retailer. The company's stronghold was its UK and European markets, but it had expanded into North America and also eyed new opportunities in Asia. Mu oz had to decide where to focus his efforts against a backdrop of margin squeezes in the food business, competition for product from the developing world, ever more stringent quality, sustainability, and environmental standards from clients, and perennial hiring challenges.