Growth, Strategy and Slotting At No Pudge! Foods, Inc. - Chris Robertson

Growth, Strategy and Slotting At No Pudge! Foods, Inc.

By Chris Robertson

  • Release Date: 2003-08-06
  • Genre: Business & Personal Finance


The health and fitness trend that started in the 1980s and became a staple of American lifestyle in the 1990s created numerous opportunities for new firms to introduce niche products. The founder of No Pudge! Brownies worked with a consultant to develop a fat-free brownie mix. She then designed a lean organization where production, distribution and Internet orders were all outsourced. Immediately she is faced with her "Achilles heel," the slotting fees required by supermarkets to obtain shelf space. After two years of negotiating with supermarkets, an important grocery chain finally agrees to carry her product without any slotting fees. By 1997 sales totaled a meager $250,000. Aggressive lobbying with the National Food Distributors Association and a multi-pronged strategy for dealing with slotting eventually pushed sales above the $2 million mark. No Pudge! is at a major decision point. New growth opportunities, such as muffin mix and fast-food distribution of pre-made brownies are abundant. Slotting continues to be a source of frustration for the firm, and No Pudge! is now on the radar screen as a possible acquisition target by major food purveyors.