Increasing the gap
: how Nescafé Dolce Gusto strived in a hostile competitive environment

  • João Miguel Moreira Lamarão (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


As part of the Nestlé Group, Nescafé Dolce Gusto was launched in Portugal in 2007 aiming to democratize an entire market segment exclusively owned by Nespresso until then: coffee capsules. Five years of successes later, António Sousa, the brand’s marketing manager, was faced with a few challenging circumstances which inevitably he had to address. He was witnessing an industry that never stopped growing year after year. Unfortunately, Nescafé Dolce Gusto was not alone driving this growth, as other players began surfacing and claiming their spot. The business environment had become aggressively competitive and resorting to sales promotions was revealing itself as a quick way to stay relevant, yet at the cost of profitability. Nonetheless, recovering market share lost to the main competitors was the key objective for 2012. Recent tax policy changes due to the economic crisis caused Nescafé Dolce Gusto to become the only brand selling a standard capsules pack at a price point above €5. António knew he had to start from there if he was to achieve the proposed targets. Surprisingly, he found out the solution could in fact be to develop a new promotional pack, differently sized and priced than the regular 16 capsules pack offered. At the end of the day, he had to choose between going for a 12 capsules pack or a 30 capsules pack, and this decision could be the most important he made in years
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaulo Alexandre Gonçalves Marcos (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão: Programa Internacional

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