In 2002, NatureWorks LLC, a small subsidiary of U.S. agricultural giant Cargill Inc., was recognized for its development of the first synthetic polymer class to be produced from renewable resources, specifically from corn grown in the American Midwest. The product held the potential to substitute a renewable feedstock for petroleum-based polymers. With this enormous vote of confidence, the company was poised to move forward from a niche market in which it was selling tens of thousands of tons polylactic acid to a mainstream one with possibly hundreds of thousands of tons in sales. But how could it position itself to do so profitably?
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia