UBC Undergraduate Research

Happy Planet : UBC campus analysis and marketing plan Al, Todd J.; Bowles, Tyler; Emiroglu, Ezgi; Chung, Beverly; Bhatia, Gurleen


According to our client, Cooper Simmonds–Business Development Manager at Happy Planet Foods Inc., sales of their smoothie products have been experiencing double digit sales growth across Canada over the last three years. The company is winning in this category due to its focus on healthy products, natural ingredients, and Canadian production with primarily local ingredients. During that same period of time on the UBC campus, sales of Happy Planet smoothies have been steeply decreasing over the last 3 years rather than following the same trend as the rest of the country. What is particularly interesting is that UBC tends to attract individuals that are drawn to health and sustainability due to it’s own sustainability objectives. It is one of the most sustainable campuses in the world and currently has the most sustainable building in North America, and on the topic of food its a fair trade campus with 53% of food intended to be locally grown, processed within 150 miles, or certified organic. So the values of the student population and Happy Planet should be aligned. Our key problem is to determine what is primary reason behind this disconnect. Our research was broken into two key areas of study in order to understand this problem. First consumer related questions to see if the problem is in demand or brand connection with the audience. The second was supply chain related questions to understand if there was a problem with stocking, ordering, or the competitive aspects of the business. We determined from this analysis that the problem is a vicious circle. First, at the point of sale (POS) the product is not on the shelf. Second, customers are not finding the product and so demand slumps. Third, operations see the slumping sales as a signal not to order it, and so it doesn’t get put on the shelf. This three-stage problem will require all three branches to be solved in order to get sales up to an appropriate level that is both reflective of sales off campus, as well as being in line with the sustainability interests of UBC Food Services Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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