ReTain: Managing Growth and Market Share
This case focuses on how Johan Pienaar, Valent Biosciences Corporation (VBC) Global Business Manager for Plant Growth Regulators, should manage growth of one of the company's most successful products - ReTain. When applied to apples, ReTain reduces fruit drop, provides more consistent premium fruit, and aids in harvest and storage management. Large, sophisticated orchards realized a five to twenty-fold return on their use of ReTain, and as a result ReTain had a market share of roughly 65% of the Total Available Market in the U.S. apple industry. Further, ReTain could be applied to other fruit crops to aid growers. Johan's challenge was how to prioritize the various opportunities to grow revenues from the ReTain technology based on its application to other fruit where ReTain was known to be effective (e.g., peaches, pineapples, almonds) and in international markets (e.g., China, Europe). At the same time, he sought to defend ReTain from several threats (e.g., a much cheaper legacy technology, disagreements about its classification as organic) to its strong market position in the U.S. apple industry. Johan must also decide whether to invest some of these limited resources into R&D in an effort to establish whether ReTain could be effective on a heretofore untested crop.