Options for the Re-introduction of the Products in the Market

After the crisis, the dilemma for the company could be argued to have been in determining the best way through which to continue its trade in the affected market. First, the finding of the bacteria in a sealed bottle of the firm’s juice products meant that the company would have to develop a method of sterilizing its products without compromising their fresh flavor since that was the entity’s main marketing strength (Entine, 1999). This provided alternative courses of action to the company such as discontinuing all apple juice production, improving production processes, modifying labeling, using standardized or modified pasteurization techniques, and use of alternative (non-heat-based) disinfection techniques.

The viability of these alternatives could be assessed on their cost-benefit effect to the organization. Halting production would for instance be mainly disadvantageous to the organization since these were the main products that fueled Odwalla’s growth (Martinelli & Briggs, 1998) hence a shift to alternative products would involve high costs and minimal market share. Gains from improving production processes would also be determined by the relationship between the cost of capital investment required and the subsequent sales that such processes would help generate. This would prove a challenge since the company was losing more money in legal suits in which it had accepted liability (Entine, 1999). Changing the label of the product would also only bear benefits to the firm when accompanied by other treatment that guaranteed the safety of the products. Further high costs would be incurred in marketing the new brand to achieve brand awareness comparable to that of the products prior to the crisis.

The best approach was therefore in the use of disinfection techniques the best being that which would guarantee safety while preserving the products flavor. In such aspects, non-heat- based methods for example could fail to achieve the required levels of sterilization as evidenced by the entity’s prior uninformed assumption that acidic conditions were sufficient to deter E. coli contamination (Martinelli & Briggs, 1998). In respect to pasteurization, the use of “flash pasteurization” was well informed since the method is advanced to be a good method for sterilization of heat sensitive products such as milk without massive degradation of their flavor components (Muriana, Bowser, Davidson, et al. 2003). Go to part 5 here.

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