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Dilmah: Committed to Taste, Goodness and Purpose

Published 06 Dec 2021
Reference 6685
Topic Marketing
Region Global
Summary

The case describes the story of Sri Lanka-based Dilmah Ceylon Tea. Founded in 1988 by the current CEO’s father, the company pioneered the concept of ‘single-origin tea picked, perfected and packed’ in Sri Lanka, with a brand based on taste, goodness and purpose. Present in over 105 countries, it is one of the most well-known Sri Lankan brands worldwide. The group invests 15% of pre-tax profits in humanitarian and environmental initiatives through the MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation and Sustainability Unit (DCSU). As the business becomes increasingly competitive and Unilever is about to sell its tea portfolio, how can Dilmah ensure the margins necessary to thrive? Which customer segments and geographies should it focus on? Can it leverage its investments in humanitarian and environmental initiatives to achieve better margins and grow?

Teaching objectives

The case enables discussion of sustainability practices and whether and how they can be leveraged to grow the business for a premium brand. Are consumers willing to pay a premium price for sustainability? Which types of consumers and for what types of sustainability efforts? How can strategic decisions translate into a coherent marketing strategy and effective execution?

Keywords
  • Sustainability
  • Tea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Branding
  • Influencers
  • Food and Beverage Industry
  • Premium Goods
  • Commodity Branding
  • B2B Marketing
  • CSR
  • Q42021