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Abstract

The aim of this study is to identify the competition pattern in the Brazilian special cheese industry, and the strategic groups of this market. Based mainly on the Industrial Organization Theory, a qualitative study was conducted, supported by primary and secondary data. The primary data were obtained through interviews with six managers of Brazilian special cheese companies, and the secondary data were obtained from websites, company documents and specialized publications. The results point to the increasing importance of the price variable, related to market growth in recent years, which attracted companies with more effective production and logistics structures. Based on the characteristics and strategies of companies, four strategic groups were identified: a) medium sized companies with large market penetration; b) small companies focused on the special cheese market and located in traditional production regions of Minas Gerais State; c) single-product companies, with high levels of vertical integration; and d) transnational companies that produce special cheese in several countries.

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