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Pollo Campero in the USA

Esteban R. Brenes (Strategy Department, INCAE Business School, Alajuela, Costa Rica)
Amitava Chattopadyay (INSEAD Business School, Singapore, Singapore)
Luciano Ciravegna (International Development Institute, King's College London, London, UK and INCAE Business School, Alajuela, Costa Rica)
Daniel Montoya (INCAE Business School, Alajuela, Costa Rica)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 14 October 2014




This case illustrates the challenges that Pollo Campero, a Guatemalan fast food company, faces when expanding in the US market. The purpose of this paper is to stimulate a discussion about consumer segmentation, competitive strategy and the internationalization of emerging market multinationals.


The case study is based on primary research conducted in conjunction with the company, including interviews with senior management and an ample review of documents. Secondary sources have been used to gather information about the industry, the US market and consumer segments.


The case illustrates that Pollo Campero was initially very successful in the US market because it appealed to consumers of Central American origin. It found it harder to appeal to a broader range of US consumers, who had no emotional attachment to the brand.


This is a complex, in-depth case study suitable for use with advanced MBA students and practitioners. Depending on the aims of the instructor, different aspects of the case can be highlighted and it can be used in a competitive strategy class as well as in a corporate strategy class or a strategic marketing course. It can be used in a class focussing on brand, positioning and consumer segmentation, a class on competitive strategy in the fast food industry, or a class on the international strategy of emerging market multinationals.



R. Brenes, E., Chattopadyay, A., Ciravegna, L. and Montoya, D. (2014), "Pollo Campero in the USA", Management Decision, Vol. 52 No. 9, pp. 1649-1679.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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