VION, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leading European meat processor and food ingredients company. Less than a decade ago the company surprised friends and foes by entering the industry through a series of large and well-timed takeovers that changed the face of the European meat industry. A new strategy for VION is needed, as competition in the meat industry is rapidly becoming global in nature and having a profound impact on the competitive dynamics in Europe. Major global players including Smithfield Foods (based in the USA), Brazil's JBS Swift, and Perdigão, are penetrating and expanding into European territory. New geographical markets for meat companies emerge in Eastern Europe and Asia. Meanwhile, incumbent competitors such as Danish Crown (based in Denmark) and Tönnies (Germany) are beefing up their competitive efforts, while many meat market segments in Europe have reached maturity. The diversity of distinctive and hard-to-copy strengths of major competitors confronts VION with much food for thought. For instance, a number of competitors (such as Perdigão) have important cost advantages over VION. Others enjoy a very strong supply base (such as Danish Crown), have outstanding technological capabilities, and own important genetic assets (such as Smithfield). Will the competition be able to set new rules of the game in the European meat industry? What strategy should VION pursue to maintain the initiative in changing the European meat industry, and stay ahead of the competition?

European meat industry, Industry development, Strategy, Teaching case
hdl.handle.net/1765/83545
International Food and Agribusiness Management Review
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Rademakers, M.F.L. (2012). VION Food group: New challenges. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 15(2), 153–170. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/83545