Should Global Beer Company Molson Coors Enter the Cannabis Beverages Business?
In early 2019, global beer company Molson Coors was exploring how to enter the cannabis beverages business. At the time, cannabis had not yet been legalized in Canada. Initially the company had planned to test a few products in a small geography in Canada to see if there might be a viable market opportunity. But the team charged with developing an entry strategy recommended a more aggressive move: pulling forward $65 million to build a facility in Canada to produce cannabis beverages and seize first-mover advantage. That sudden change in direction gave then-CEO Mark Hunter pause. Should he approve the request, or push the team back to the original, more conservative plan?
Harvard Business School senior lecturer Derek van Bever and Stephen P. Kaufman (MBA 1965) discuss balancing exploitation and exploration within one of the world’s top brewing companies in the case, “Beyond Beer: Brewing Innovation at Molson Coors.”