Winter Strategy Development Competition – Introducing LDA Gen Z to Barefoot Wine

Development Competition Zoom
Foster partnered with E&J Gallo Winery’s Barefoot Wine this winter quarter for an exciting Strategy Development Competition. Around 250 seniors on 49 teams presented their recommendations for how Barefoot Wines should strategically position and take actions to attract Legal Drinking Age (LDA) Gen Z consumers. As Baby Boomers retire and reduce their consumption of wine, the industry is looking to Millennials and Gen Z to take over the largest demographic of wine consumers. However, younger customers are not adopting wine at the same rate, and are turning to spirits, cocktails and hard seltzers instead. As teams contemplated what direction Barefoot Wine should take, they looked at positioning, product offerings, packaging, messaging, distribution and financials before making their final recommendations.

In the end, three teams were victorious:

Team C3

  • Alyssa Kearns, Dionica Sy, Eric Tang, Scott Elder and Toan Nguyen
  • Promoted a new product offering of wine cocktails packaged in pouches that played into Gen Z’s nostalgia and desire for a healthy drink alternative. Barefoot would emphasize nostalgia marketing with a viral social media presence, partnering with iCarly and High School Musical celebrities, and creating a cocktail club.

Team H4

  • Anna Gomersall, Courtney Steilen, Fiona Tian, Heather Varney and Randy Tran
  • Expanded Barefoot’s hard seltzer offering through the introduction of six new flavors in a mystery box. Consumers are then challenged to guess the flavors, and a portion of profits would go to charitable causes.

Team A5

  • Amara Le, Cooper Wechkin, Marcus Avery, Michelle Lee and Yin Deng
  • Launching Barefoot’s first carbon neutral product line, Barefoot Botanicals, is a low-alcohol fruity and botanical wine. A QR code on the back of each can directs consumers to info about carbon offset projects, Barefoot’s transparent supply chain, and more. Barefoot Botanicals would launch with a pop-up botanical wine garden, where they can experience mixology activities and the social aspect of the drink.

When asked about this experience, students expressed the value in having to solve a problem with a deadline and the importance of team dynamics for driving optimal results. Below are a few additional excerpts from the winning teams –

Participating in this case competition allowed me to take the knowledge I gained within the classroom and apply it to a real business scenario. This process has taught me about all of the implications and factors that need to be considered when making a strategic business decision and how critical it is to thoughtfully analyze your recommendation. It has also allowed me to receive feedback from industry professionals that I can take with me in my future career. – Courtney Steilen

Through the Strategy Development Case Competition I was able to learn how to craft a narrative around our team’s solution and utilize the tips from our Accenture coach to improve the delivery of our message that would put us over the mark to win. – Toan Nguyen

The case competition summarized my overall learning from core business classes through an engaging, real-world scenario. Additionally, it pushed me to view a business problem and corresponding strategy from multiple business lenses rather than just my specific concentrations within Foster. I was able to improve my teamwork, communication, and presentation skills. – Fiona Tian

The case competition helped me see what professionals look for in a business pitch/presentation, and how small details can appear as shortcomings to different people (who have different priorities and values). It has also shown me that really speaking the language of the audience is important in persuading them. – Eric Tang