Mondelez eyes bigger share in Chinese market

Date: 16 Nov 2021

Snack food company set to ride rising health awareness for more biz growth

Snack food giant Mondelez International is looking to further product premiumization and expand presence of its products in China as twin engines to fuel local business growth, a senior company executive said.

The maker of Oreo cookies and Toblerone chocolates is looking at double digit growth in China, where it is outpacing the rate of industry growth this year, said Joost Vlaanderen, the company's China president.

"That China has already eliminated absolute poverty, together with the 'common prosperity' concept, are generating more demand for snacks. So we need to make our quality products available to more customers," he said.

As such, Mondelez has recruited new distributors that help its portfolio cover more than 200 counties in China and add 200,000 new stores within the year. Another approach is to tantalize taste buds that are more sophisticated, and pamper people seeking novel flavors or creative products.

"So think of Oreo cake, or Oreo ice-cream, or even yogurt," Vlaanderen said. "It's something that people would like to try out."

In its latest endeavor, the company launched a limited-edition Oreo featuring both white biscuits and fillings ahead of the Nov 11 gala, the country's most influential shopping festival.

Championing traditional Chinese calligraphy, the product aims to stay relevant with the younger generation of customers, who increasingly embrace the "national cultural tide".

"To succeed in China, of course, you need to do things that are good for volume. But you also need to do things that make your brand top in consumers' mind," he said.

As health awareness rises in the country, the preference for healthy and nutritious food has become a key source of growth, said consultancy Mintel.

To this end, Mondelez brought nearly 100 products to the fourth China International Import Expo in Shanghai, with half of the exhibit being first-timers to China and 70 percent of which are designed to meet the well-being needs of the people.

"The CIIE is an important platform for China to strengthen global economic cooperation under the 'dual-circulation' strategy. In the past four years, we have successfully turned our CIIE exhibits into merchandise, also from exhibitor to investor," he said.

During last year's CIIE, Stride charcoal gum made its debut. The product was previously produced in Thailand. It attracted local eyeballs and enough social media traffic in China to make Mondelez shift production to China's Guangzhou plant this year, where Mondelez has invested to expand its capacity.

Source: China Daily

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