Kraft break-up yields marketing shift

02 April 2012

NEW YORK: Mondelez International, the global snacks company devolving from Kraft Foods, will adopt a different marketing strategy more appropriate to fast-growth markets than the US grocery sector.

Kraft is currently splitting in to two entities: one keeping the Kraft name and focusing on North American grocery brands, and the other, Mondelēz International, taking on a wider brief.

Mary Beth West, who will be chief marketing officer for Mondelēz International – championing brands like Oreo, Trident and Tang – told the Chicago Tribune that popular habits worked in its favour.

"One of the beauties of snacking over, say, dinner, is that the consumer behaviour around the globe is more consistent than it is different. People chew gum almost everywhere, people eat chocolate," she said.

"There are so many other options for dinner, and it's more locally driven than globally driven. But the behaviour of eating between meals or eating something instead of a meal, is very much a global behaviour."

Mondelēz currently generates 80% of its sales outside the US, and sells a stable of products typically targeted at an alternative audience to the legacy grocery brands available in the US.

"The brands ... tend to have a younger, vibrant appeal that allow us to push the edge of the marketing much further," said West. "It's a space that's a little more open and flexible with how far we can push it."

Although customers in diverse countries may exhibit certain shared traits, Kraft – and now Mondelēz – adapts elements of its strategy and marketing to reflect the needs of individual markets.

"We have a wonderful 'glocal' model, which [features] guidelines of what's global, what things shouldn't change or can't change on our brands, and what things really need to be adjusted for local tastes. It's one of our cornerstones for driving our growth," said Bell.

Oreo, for example, is common in appearance, display and broad communications output around the world. However, the flavour has been altered in nations like China, and the content of ads varies.

The title Mondelēz International was chosen from a list of suggestions provided by Kraft's staff, but while it has importance, Bell argued that the emphasis remains on the products.

"When we went about figuring out what the name should be, what we said to ourselves was what we're trying to create here is a house of brands, as opposed to a branded house, and what we really want is a unifying umbrella under which all of our iconic global brands can live," she said.

Data sourced from Chicago Tribune; additional content by Warc staff