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Author: Deepank Gupta (BE, MIT, Grad Cert in Business Administration)

Disclaimer: All data and information provided in this report is for informational purposes only. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information, no guarantee is given nor responsibility taken by Integral Bussi or the authors for errors, inaccuracy or omissions in the reports content. Integral Bussi or the author(s) will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from the display or use of this report. The information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters. Readers are advised to verify all relevant representation, statements and information with their own professional advisers.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US

This report critically reviews Kingsford Charcoals (Kingsford) approach to marketing. In this report, as a marketing consultant to Kingsford, Integral Bussi have recommended an improved marketing plan to add value to Kingsfords present market share, sales and profitability. The recommended marketing plan is formulated using a five-step process: analysing the current situations, identifying the issues, defining the objectives, determining strategies and an action plan to implement these strategies. The report emphasises the importance of marketing in businesses. It has become clear that the companies without a marketing mindset will be at a disadvantage in today's business world. Those who are still centred around their products, rather than their customers, are doomed to fail. It is highlighted in the report that threat of new entrants and bargaining power of buyers are some of the forces influencing the competition in the market. To counter these forces and gain a sustainable competitive advantage, the proposed plan will position Kingsford strategically in the market.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY--------------------------------------------------------------------------ii 2. BACKGROUND-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 2.1 Current Marketing Situation------------------------------------------------------------------4 3. SWOT ANALYSIS----------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 3.1 Internal Analysis--------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 3.2 External Analysis-------------------------------------------------------------------------------5 3.3 Confrontation Matrix --------------------------------------------------------------------------6 4. ISSUE ANALYSIS----------------------------------------------------------------------------------7 5. RECOMMEDED MARKETING PLAN----------------------------------------------------------8 5.1 Objectives----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 5.2 Strategy-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8 5.3 Action Plan---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9
5.3.1 PRICING.................................................................................................................10 5.3.2 PROMOTION..........................................................................................................11 5.3.3 PLACE....................................................................................................................15 5.3.4 PRODUCT..............................................................................................................16

5. CONCLUSION-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------16 6. APPENDIX------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18 6.1 Market Situation-------------------------------------------------------------------------------18

6.1.1 SIZE, TARGET MARKET & MARRKET GROWTH...............................................18 6.1.2 CONSUMER ANALYSIS........................................................................................19

6.2 Product Situation------------------------------------------------------------------------------20

6.2.1 KINGSFORD PRODUCT RANGE.........................................................................21

6.3 Competitive Situation------------------------------------------------------------------------23

6.3.1 INDUSTRY COMPARISON: CHARCOAL Vs GAS BARBEQUING.....................24 6.3.2 MEDIA SPENDING COMPARISON......................................................................25 6.3.3 PRODUCT COMPARISON: KINGSFORD, ROYAL OAK & PRIAVTE LABLES. .25

6.4 Distribution Situation-------------------------------------------------------------------------25 6.5 Macro Environment Situation--------------------------------------------------------------28 7. REFERENCES------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 29

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


Kingsford is a well known brand of charcoal in barbequing community in the United States of America. Provided case study discusses and analyses the issue of decline in sales of Kingsford in the year of 2000. Brand managers Marcilie Smith Boyle and Allison Warren were assigned a task to analyse the market situation and come up with a robust future marketing plan to overcome the softening of the market. Kingsford started in 1920 with the invention of charcoal by the pioneering efforts of Henry Ford and E.G. Kingsford. Since 1973, it has become one of the product group within Cloroxs portfolio. In 2000, Kingsford with $ 350 million turnover represents 9% of the total turnover of Cloroxs revenue. Kingsford in 2000 faced competition from Royal Oak and Private Labels. In addition to this a recent shift towards gas barbeque also threatened the sale results.

2.1 Current Marketing Situation To come up with a suitable strategy to define the overall action plan for achieving Kingsfords goals and objectives, I have carried out the analysis of the following current marketing situations of year 2000: 1) Market Situation 2) Product Situation 3) Competitive Situation 4) Distribution Situation 5) Macro-environment Situation Refer to Appendix.1 for detailed analysis and discussion on Kingsfords current marketing situation.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US

As a first step to deploy strategies to improve Kingsfords business goals, I have carried out the following SWOT analysis of Kingsfords current situation. The gist is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Kingsford, pinpoint opportunities and note threats. 3.1 Internal Analysis Strengths 1) Good image of the products quality 2) Market leader (almost 57.7% of charcoal market) 3) Product Range (Regular and Instant) 4) Regular-20 pounds (covers 45% total sales) 5) Established distribution channels 6) Strong relationship with distribution channels 7) Backing by the parent company (approx 9% share in Cloroxs revenue) 8) Annual price increase by small percentage Weaknesses 1) Substantial cut-down in advertising 2) Limited scope to increase the production level to meet the growth 3) Sales are season driven 4) Falling trend of Kingsford growth 3.2 External Analysis Opportunities 1) Increase in number of barbeque events in USA 2) 2 out 3 barbeque users prefer charcoal grilling 3) Charcoal barbequing is related to real barbeque experience 4) 1/3 sales are impulse based. 5) More than 50 % grill owners are medium or heavy users. 6) Approx 80% of barbeque grills are owned by younger, larger and high income family. Threats
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US 5

1) Increase in trend of gas barbequing 2) Absence of advertisement in charcoal industry 3) Weather pattern 4) Price increase of charcoal 5) Charcoal barbeque is time consuming and inconvenient. 3.3 Confrontation Matrix The following table combines internal and external factors affecting Kingsford. This matrix provides a better perspective on the issues faced by Kingsford and the areas of opportunities and improvements. Opportunities Aggressive Threats Adjust

Kingsford is the market leader and Market-leaders initiative will has a good quality image. Traditional provide positive boost to the Barbequing is preferred by target charcoal market Strength customers. Kingsford has the opportunity to increase the gains by providing a fun filled real barbeque experience for the whole family. Defensive Increase in barbequing. Survive More Declining trend of the charcoal Kingsfords advertising may result in

advertising especially around peak market. Decrease in Weaknesses times will help to boost sales. Promoting instant charcoal as a expenditure an inconvenient way of barbequing.

product for users who find charcoal sharp business decline and therefore it should be rectified.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US

The best marketing plans should address the issues by focusing on customer needs and wants ( n.d.). On the basis of SWOT following are the potential issues Kingsfords future marketing plan should address to achieve its business objectives: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Should Kingsford increase their advertising effort and spending and Should Kingsford try to increase the production capacity? Should Kingsford promote extending the grilling season or try to Should Kingsford try to promote Regular charcoal more than Instant Should Kingsford change the rate of annual price increase and by

by how much?

increase demands during off-peak times? or vice versa or promote both equally? how much? These issues can be combined and simply divided into two main issues:

Emerging trend of the gas barbeques Decline in Kingsford charcoal market and growth i.e. profitability.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


5.1 Objectives Objectives, in simple terms, are where the business is heading for, and strategies are the means for getting there (Fardon et al n.d.). The objectives can be divided into two key categories, Financial and Marketing. The following are the objectives Kingsfords marketing plan should aim: Financial Objectives: Improve profitability Improve growth

Marketing Objectives:
Improving brand awareness Improve sales 5.2 Strategy In the following discussion, I have carried out the analysis for selecting a suitable marketing strategy to prepare the marketing plan for Kingsford. On analysing the internal and external factors of Kingsford, it is clear that the market of charcoal is getting weaker (refer to Graph A.5 in Appendix). However, Kingsford has a good public image; has a good distribution channel and is the strongest in the industry. Further, on the basis of Kingsfords market share and dominance with in the charcoal industry, the marketing plan should consider Market Leader Strategies ( n.d.). The market leader strategies focus on three main tasks, which are: 1) Expanding the market 2) Protecting the market share 3) Expanding the market share ( n.d.) Kingsford charcoal also faces a huge competition from the gas barbeque industry. The increasing trend of gas barbeque poses a great threat on charcoal industry, ultimately on Kingsfords business (refer to Graph A.5 in Appendix). To protect its
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US 8

total barbeque market share, Kingsfords marketing strategy should also consider Market Challenger Strategies such as: Flanking/Bypass Attack To attack where gas barbeque competitors are not focusing Find a new market segment Buyers are sensitive to price Works if other competitors do not cut prices ( 2005)

Price Discount Strategy

Ansoff Product / Market Growth Matrix: Existing Products Existing Markets New Markets Market Penetration Market Development New Products Product Development Diversification

In light of Kingsfords current situation and Ansoff Product/Market Growth Matrix, Kingsfords marketing plan should attempt to focus on Market Penetration and Market Development growth strategies. From the above analysis, it is clear that Kingsford needs a strategy based on market growth and should be customer oriented. Kingsford, by using a pull strategy, can direct its marketing activities (primarily advertising, consumer promotion and direct marketing) towards the customer needs (i.e. to experience real barbeque, better taste etc.) encouraging them to buy Kingsford charcoal (Kotler et al 2006, p.431). This customer oriented strategy will help Kingsford to achieve new users and more usage. 5.3 Action Plan On reviewing the action plan of Kingsfords Brand Managers (Marcille Smith Boyle and Allison Warren) and on the basis of identified current situations, SWOT Analysis, Issue Analysis and the selected marketing strategies, following is the recommended action plan to address important issues involved in the marketing
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US 9

activity of Kingsford. These issues include: promotion of charcoal, pricing, the place where it should be sold and further development of charcoal as a product.

Pricing should help Kingsford to achieve the following: 1) Growth in revenue 2) Improved sales 3) Long term profitability Kingsford should set its prices considering: 1) Market Based Pricing Strategy 2) Competitor Reactive Pricing Strategy Kingsford within the barbequing market (gas and charcoal) is in heterogeneous oligopolistic market (Refer to Section 6.1 in Appendix). Therefore, there is a risk of customer migration form Kingsford to its competitors if they increase its prices at higher rate. However, there is no guarantee that Kingsford would gain customers by not increasing or cutting down the prices (Kotler et al 2006, p.341). Considering the above a sharp price increase is not recommended because: 1) price increases by competitors have led to their own market share fall (refer to Table A.7 in Appendix). In addition, price increases have turned costumers to gas barbecue resulting in decline of total charcoal market. 2) it may hamper the Cloroxs promotion of two brand strategy for charcoal. As Nick Vlahos (Cloroxs Sales Director) suggests in the case study that price rise could lead to loss of all merchandising momentum. I suggest Kingsford should consider a marginal increase in its prices about 2.5%. Consumers will adjust with the slight price increase as Kingsford charcoal a happy product associated with high quality, fun & family; provides some flexibility
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US 10

in pricing. Small price rise will assist Kingsford to gain some funds for reinvestment in Kingsford and potentially in Cloroxs specialty products. I also suggest that Kingsford should use price-discount strategy and offer discounts during the low sales and the weeks before high sale days (i.e. Memorial Day, 4 July etc) (refer to Table A.9 in Appendix). Price discount during these times can be very beneficial in alluring more customers and increasing the market share.

Promotion is all about companies communicating with customers ( n.d.). The total marketing communications program of an organization is called the "promotional mix" and consists of a blend of: 1) Advertising 2) Personal selling 3) Sales promotion 4) Public relations 5) Direct Marketing I suggest that Kingsfords promotional campaign should aim to pull customers (both existing & new) and create a demand for Kingsford charcoal. This campaign should be designed to improve the brand and product awareness. It should also campaign heavily in the areas where gas barbeque industry is not very active. In line to these promotional goals, I advise the following promotional mix for Kingsford: Advertising Research by Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) shows that TV advertising has a big influence on the final turnover of Kingsford. The study indicated that the media spending of $6 million in advertising resulted in incremental growth of 7% in 1998.
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US 11

I also agree with Kingsford Brand Managers that Kingsford should increase their advertising budget. Though this budget should primarily focus on TV advertising, Kingsford should also spend a percentage of it into radio advertising, print advertising and hoardings. I recommend that the advertising should follow seasonal pattern of sales. It should be pulsed and the frequency should be more during the peak times (Kotler et al 2006, pp.445-446). The advertising theme should build the brand image and promote charcoal grilling as a "real" barbecue experience. The advertisement should communicate the core of Kingsford charcoal to customers such as: 1) Fun 2) Family 3) Masculinity In addition, the existing Kingsford-slogans like Lights twice as fast as other coals, Lights faster, burns longer, Ready in 15 minutes can be used. These slogans are known and relevant to customers and will easily communicate everything about the strengths of the product. Personal Selling It is the most effective tool influencing the purchase decision and includes persuasive communication between a companys representative and potential customers ( n.d.). However, it is a very expensive method of promotion (Kotler et al 2006, p.431) and should be brought into practice very carefully. As seen in Distribution Situation (refer to Table A.8 in Appendix), there has been a decline in the sales at food stores which account for about 66% of total sales of Kingsford. Personal selling at these locations at peak sale times will help Kingsford to increase its sales.
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US 12

I recommend that Kingsford should organise onsite charcoal barbequing and promote the good taste of charcoal grilling. This onsite promotion should also include the demonstration on how to use charcoal and person to person informative communication. This will help to form a good public relation by building the product and companys image.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


Sales Promotions Sales promotion is all about providing consumers with a reason to buy the products. Kingsfords sales promotion should aim: 1) to lure customers away from gas barbequing 2) to sustain and create new customers The main types of sales promotion include (Kotler et al 2006, pp.466-471): 1) Consumer promotion It is noted that Kingsfords one third sales are impulse driven, making it very important to have a correct display of the product mix. For this Kingsford should consider point-of-purchase (POP) promotions. Kingsfords merchandising activities should ensure that the right mix of products is available and displayed in right quantities at the right shelves or selling points at right time (high sales days such as 4 July). I recommend that Kingsford should create good business relations with their retailers for displaying and shelving at strategic points. For example: Middle position in the path, at the entrance, end of aisle displays, high on the shelf; so that they are easily visible. In addition, Kingsford while promoting the product to consumers should offer redeemable coupons at each purchase. For example, coupons with every pack of charcoal offering a free gift or a discount on the next buy. Sales promotion can be very expensive; therefore, I suggest Kingsford should look for the opportunities of co-marketing with other brands and products like beverages or meat. 2) Trade promotion: Many sales promotions aimed at consumers are accompanied by trade promotions (Kotler et al 2006, p.470). Kingsford should also provide incentives or rewards to their retailers and wholesalers on achieving the target sales in an endeavour to gain distribution, good merchandising space and cooperative
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US 14

advertising. For example Kingsford can reward the first 10 retailers achieving the sales of 100,000 pounds of Kingsford Charcoal with a free pass and return trip for 2 persons to NASCAR. Sponsorship Agreeing with Kingsford marketing team, I also suggest that Kingsford should continue to sponsor cars. NASCAR is a very popular event in USA and shares the core values (fun, family, masculinity) with Kingsford. These promotions should be aimed before and after peak seasons to help Kingsford extend the grilling season. Direct Marketing I suggest that Kingsford should also consider Direct Marketing for a more direct follow-up in adjunct to their media advertising. Kingsford should primarily use internet for this in addition to direct mails, leaflets and flyers. The website must include the following information to establish relationship with current and potential customers: Products Information on how to use charcoal Barbecue Recipes Newsletter Information on Kingsford relation with Nascar. Barbecue-Game (free downloads) Feed back

5.3.3 PLACE

Kingsford under Clorox has a good and massive distribution network. I suggest that Kingsford should make a good use of this inheritance by choosing the promotional campaign and prices of their products in collaboration with distributors strategies.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


I recommend that Kingsford merchandisers should ensure that the adequate quantity and mix of Kingsfords SKUs are available at the right place (high point of sales, e.g. food stores, other distribution channels) and at the right time (peak time).

66% barbeque lovers prefer charcoal cooked meat over gas (refer to Section 6.1.1 in Appendix). However, the convenient and quick cooking by gas barbequing is a growing threat to charcoal market, ultimately Kingsford. It is also noted that almost 50% of consumers are not comfortable in making a fire with regular charcoal. I propose Kingsford to promote instant charcoal for this segment of customers as it is easier to use and will also have a benefit of great taste of charcoal. Product augmentation in addition to its core benefits will also help Kingsford to meet its strategic objectives (Kotler et al 2006, p.256). These extra features can include all or some of the following: 1) Attractive Packaging 2) Instructions on how to use charcoal with in the charcoal packet 3) Instructions to use common type of charcoal grill with in the charcoal packet 4) Selected recipes with in the charcoal packet

To conclude, Integral Bussi strongly advises Kingsford brand managers to consider the recommended marketing plan. This plan would not only help them to cover the year 2000 deficit but also help them to attain sustainable growth. Kingsford growth will help Clorox to achieve its strategic objectives. The proposed marketing plan will also help Kingsford to bring back the momentum in charcoal industry.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


However, every coin has two facets and success is no accident. It has to be strategically and methodically planned. Kingsford will need to monitor the impact of the plan on volume sales for the continuous improvement of the plan. This is very important as they have a limited scope to increase their production. In the interim, Kingsford should undertake market research and feasibility study to look for affordable sources of charcoal to increase its supply capacity.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


6.1 Market Situation Barbeque from a long time, has enjoyed the passion of Americans. It has become a very important part of US households and is associated with family and community, outdoor activities, informality, change of pace and flavours. Kingsford in USA stood under the heterogeneous oligopolistic market in charcoal industry. The products in this market are generally distinguished by the price, quality and promotion. The following matrix shows various market types and products. Product Type Homogeneous Heterogeneous Many Providers Full competition Monopolistic competition
Table A. 1

Few Providers Homogenous oligopoly Heterogeneous oligopoly

A Provider Monopoly Monopoly

Kingsford were the product leader in a market of small number of providers (Royal Oak and Private label).

By the end of 90s, 75% of all households in America owned a barbecue grill. Approximately 80% of these belonged to the younger, larger and high income families. The following graph represents the trend of growth in the number of barbeque events in America:

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


3.5 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0



3 2.7


BBQ Events in Billion



Graph A. 1

It is clear from the above graph that, within 15 years the number of barbecue events in America has seen more than two fold increase (114%). In 2000, almost 66 % of barbeque lovers preferred charcoal than gas. However, the gas barbeque is becoming popular mostly because it is less complex and quick to use.

The case study revealed that die-hard barbeque lovers believed that the charcoal barbeque is the real culinary art and a source a great flavour. It further revealed that 60% of the charcoal users perceived Kingsford as the high quality product while only 13% believed in private labels. More than half of the grill owners are medium/heavy users i.e. those who grilled at least six times a month. In light of Kingsford product range and this data, these heavy users are further segmented based on their liking for the kind of Kingsford product (Regular Charcoal and Instant Charcoal). Kinds of Kingsford Users Regular Exclusive Users (use only regular charcoal)
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US

Segmentation of users in percentage 30

Total volume used in percentage 28


Instant Exclusive Users (use only instant charcoal) Instant Acceptors Users (use both forms)

10 60
Table A. 2

11 62

Segmentation of Users and their Usage

70% 60% 50%
Segmentation of users in percentage Total volume used in percentage



40% 30% 20% 30% 10% 10% 0% Regular Exclusive Instant Exclusive Instant Acceptors 28% 60% 11%

Type of Users

Graph A. 2

It is clear from the above graph that 60 % of the Kingsford users are comfortable with both types of products, giving leverage to the company to experiment with the production or marketing regime. 6.2 Product Situation Kingsford with 9% share of Cloroxs total revenue in 2000 was one of the important product groups within Cloroxs portfolio. It also represented a substantial part of Cloroxs net income. Clorox divided it product portfolio into three product categories US Household Products, US Specialty Products and International Products.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


Clorox Product Category in 2000

15% 40% 45%

US House Hold Products

US Specialty Products


Graph A. 3

Amongst these categories, Kingsford comes under US specialty Products. The following table shows segmentation of products under these categories. US House Hold Products Glad Formulae 409 Water Filters(Brita) Pine Sol, Soft Scrub Liquid Plumr Tilex Ready Mop US Specialty Products Fresh Step Scoop Away Armor All STP Kingsford Match Light Hidden Valley KC Masterpiece
Table A. 3



In year 2000, Kingsford with five plants in the USA was producing charcoal at 80% of its total capacity. Therefore, the growth rate of 5% or more will make Kingsford to look for other sources to meet the capacity within a short span.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


Following is representation of the Kingsford product range and sizes available in US market in year 2000. Blue Bags or Regular Red Bags or Instant

Kingsford Match Light Product Name Available Sizes

1 pound = 454 gms

Kingsford Charcoal 10-pound / 20-pound /

(Charcoal treated with lighter fluid) 8-pound / 15-pound /

48-pound (2 * 24-pound bags) 30-pound (2 * 15-pound bags)

Table A. 4

Regular Charcoal leads the list of products sold by Kingsford and is very important for Kingsford marketing strategy. Regular charcoal has proven itself over the years and Kingsford relies on it for its major part of the income. However with the change of time and instant charcoal being simple and quicker to use, people buying trend is shifting. There can be potential for Kingsford to groom this product in its new marketing plan. Regular charcoal represents approximately 75% of the total products sold, within it, the 20-pound packs account for 60% of sales. Overall, Regular-20 Pound is responsible for 45% of total turnover of Kingsford.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


Kingsford Sale Segmentation

25% 45% 30%

Regular - 20 Pound

Regular - Other


Graph A. 4

Since the 1980s, Kingsford has seen a continuous growth of 1-3% of its revenue each year. This trend however took a negative plunge in 2000. Kingsford with more than 50% market share sees itself as not only an absolute market leader but also a trend setter in the charcoal industry. In past, Kingsford product was sold at nearly 25%-30% premium to private labels and Royal Oak was typically priced between the two. However, this price gap was narrowing as private labels increased their prices in greater ratios. From 1999 to 2000, private labels changed their prices in the range of 5-10% where as Kingsford increased its prices in range of 0-5% only. 6.3 Competitive Situation Kingsford, a player in the heterogeneous oligopolistic market was subjected to various competitions at different levels. First of all, there was a competition at the industry level, between the traditional barbecue and gas barbecue. Secondly, Kingsford within the charcoal industry faced competition with Royal Oak and other private labels.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US



Both methods have a number of advantages and disadvantages. The following table lists a few differences. Gas Advantages True barbeque experience Convenient and Quick Tastier food Better control of temperature Traditional Easy to use and clean Disadvantages Time consuming The "real" barbecue flavour missing
Table A. 5


It is ultimately to the barbecue lovers to determine their preference. On interpreting the Americans view on barbecuing, it appears that they would prefer traditional way of barbecuing (charcoal). However, there are external factors (price, product) that can lead to the transfer to gas barbecuing. Period from 19972000 show the decline of about 3% in charcoal grills in US households.

Grill Penetration Trends

60% 50% 40% 30% 52% 20% 10% 0% 1997 1998 1999 2000 52% 50% 49%




Linear (Charcoal)

Graph A. 5
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US



1998 2000 % Change

Kingsford $6 million $1 million -83,3%

Table A. 6

Gas Barbeque $4 million $10 million +150%

The above table clearly shows the attitudes of Kingsford and Gas barbeque industry towards media spending. Kingsford should consider increasing its media spending even if the other brands within the charcoal market fail to advertise.

The following extracts the current trends of competitors in the charcoal market: Kingsford Media Advertisement Sales Promotion Annual Price Increase Market Share Looked as High Quality Product by Charcoal Users
Table A. 7

Reduced Slight increase Marginal Improved 60 %

Royal Oak No advertising Sharp decline Substantial Declined 27%

Private Labels No advertising Slight decline Substantial Constant 13 %

It can be inferred from the above analysis that, the decline in Kingsford advertising as well as reduced promotional activities by other charcoal competitors may be one of the prime causes for reduced trend of penetration of charcoal barbeque with in US households. Still, Kingsford improved its position of market share within the charcoal industry. 6.4 Distribution Situation Clorox used aggressive growth strategy for marketing supported by recruitment, internal research, R&D and vast sale network. True to this, Kingsford product was available at food stores, mass merchandisers, drug stores, club stores and other

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


non-tracked channels. The following graph represents the percentage of sales of Kingsford by various distribution channels in 2000.

Distribution Channel Segmentation by Sale % in 2000

15% Food Stores 66% 2% Mass Merchandisers Drug Stores Club Stores & others 16%

Graph A. 6

It is clear that the food stores are the major distributors, accounting for up to 66 % of total Kingsfords sales. Thus, food stores will play a significant role while deciding a marketing plan for Kingsford. Further, the case study revealed that food stores were the biggest contributors for decline in Kingsford sales in 2000. Channels Food Stores Mass Merchandisers Others First Half CY 2000 2.0% 6.7% 2.4%
Table A. 8

Second Half Total Year CY 2000 (5.7)% 0.2% (4.7)% CY 2000 (1.9)% 3.5% (1.1)%

It can be inferred that Kingsford would need to emphasise its marketing and distribution planning around food-stores to sustain and increase its sale. Distribution channels are important for Clorox and Kingsford in meeting their sale
Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US 26

targets. Case study mentions that, even when Kingsford did not increase the prices, several of their channel partners increased Kingsfords product prices. This highlights the need of marketing strategy encompassing the strategies of distribution partners.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


6.5 Macro Environment Situation Kingsford charcoal sales vary with seasons. March to September is very favourable period for barbeque activities in USA. This time frame is also responsible for 60% of Kingsfords sales. SEASON Early DATES 1 March 1 May HOLIDAYS Easter Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Memorial Day, July 4th Late Off Season 1 August 1 October 1 October- 1 March
Table A. 9

SALES % 17%


1 May 1 August


Labour Day Thanksgiving, Christmas, Superbowl Sunday



It is clear from the above table, that the summer holidays are the lucrative business days for Kingsford with almost 35% of their annual sales occurring on 4th July weekends. On analysing this data, it can be deduced that to increase the sales: 1) Kingsford can put in more efforts for promotional and advertising activities around the peak times, 2) Kingsford can also opt to extend the peak period or create the demand outside the peak periods.

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US


7. REFERENCES n.d., Developing a Marketing Strategy, viewed 29 November 2007, <> Fardon, M, Adcock F & Prokopiw, J n.d., AS Applied Business for Edexcel Single Award, Marketing Objectives and Customers, viewed 05 December 2007, < > Kotler, P, Adam S, Brown, L & Armstrong G 2006, IMC: advertising and public relation in Principles of Marketing, 3rd edition, Pearson Education Australia. Kotler, P, Adam S, Brown, L & Armstrong G 2006, IMC: sales promotion and personal selling in Principles of Marketing, 3rd edition, Pearson Education Australia Kotler, P, Adam S, Brown, L & Armstrong G 2006, Pricing considerations and approach in Principles of Marketing, 3rd edition, Pearson Education Australia. Kotler, P, Adam S, Brown, L & Armstrong G 2006, Products: goods, services and experiences in Principles of Marketing, 3rd edition, Pearson Education Australia 2005, Strategy, viewed 26 < %20Outlines/03%20%20Strategy.ppt> November 2007, n.d., Marketing Planning, viewed 29 November 2007, <> n.d., Promotion - introduction to the promotional mix, viewed 05 December 2007, <> n.d., Job-Seeker's Glossary of Key Marketing Terms, viewed 05 December 2007,< > n.d., best practices, viewed 02 December 2007, < >

Marketing Plan: Kingsford Charcoal US