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Quaker Oats And Snapple
 
"We have an excellent sales and marketing team here at Gatorade. We
believe we do know how to build brands, we do know how to advance
businesses. And our expectation is that we will do the same as we take
Snapple as well as Gatorade to the next level."
-Don Uzzi, President of the Quaker Oats Beverage Company, North
America.1
SUMMARY
The Quaker Oats Company, founded in 1891, is one of America's oldest food enterprises.
From its start in the domestic ready-to-eat cereal market, Quaker grew an appetite for
diversification, snapping up pet food, grocery and toy businesses, and by the 1960s had
expanded into Europe. While William D. Smithburg continued to diversify into the clothing
and optical wear industries after his appointment as CEO in 1979, he also launched an
aggressive program to streamline production through supply chain management and renewed
the company's focus on customer satisfaction. It was the purchase of Gatorade in 1983 (as
part of the Stokely-Van Camp purchase), however, that catapulted Quaker to the top of an
untapped beverage segment that, to this day, dominates 80% of the market. This deal was
vital to Quaker's long-term success ? "Had we not bought Gatorade in the 1980s," which has
consistently brought double-digit growth, "Quaker would not have existed beyond that
time."2 While Gatorade is rightfully considered Smithburg's greatest feat, it was a relatively
smaller yet more publicized deal ? the acquisition of Snapple ? that will go down as
Smithburg's, and Quaker's, costliest mistake.
1Prince, Greg, "Come Together," Beverage World, December 1995, p. 50-54.
2Interview with William Smithburg, former CEO of Quaker Oats, January 18, 2001.
Quaker Oats and Snapple
The Rise of the Snap ...
 
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