Case Interview Question #01296: Your client is the CEO of The Monsanto Company, an American agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur, Greater St. Louis, Missouri. Monsanto was one of the first companies to apply the biotechnology industry business model to agriculture, using techniques developed by biotech drug companies. In this business model, companies recoup R&D expenses by exploiting biological patents.
Monsanto hired your consulting firm because they have just heard that a small biotech startup company in Boston has come up with a revolutionary new seed for sugar beets. The new sugar beets are exactly the same as regular beets but yield twice as much sugar. The CEO of Monsanto is interested in buying the new sugar beets patent, but he is not sure how much to pay for it. Before meeting with the CEO, your case team leader asked you to quickly estimate the demand for sugar in the U.S.
What do you think is the annual demand for sugar in the U.S.?