Just: Positioned to Target Mainstream Tastes? (A)
Well suited for MBA and undergraduate marketing programs, this case uses product positioning and placement during the early growth stages of a start-up's brand in the food industry to unfold circumstances that allow for an analysis of the firm's positioning and food marketing decisions. All products are plant-based foods distributed nationally in the United States. Seeking to target mainstream tastes and low price, tensions among the three pillars of the brand's marketing strategy, which are quality, accessibility, and sustainability, leave the case open to explore uncertainty, positioning, marketing mix, and consumer behavior. The A case opens with Josh Tetrick, Just's founder and CEO, facing an obstacle to the brand around accessibility. Target delisted all Just products in its stores after receiving an unverified, anonymous letter claiming that some of the products were unsafe and mislabeled. Although it only accounted for a small percentage of sales, losing Target affected Just's ability to meet its distribution goal to reach price-conscious consumers where they shopped and its greater goal to build a food system where everyone could eat well.