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Mondelez explores product personalisation

News, 29 March 2016

AUSTIN, TX: Product personalisation could ultimately help brands like Oreo go beyond offering bespoke packaging or flavours and become truly "tailored to the consumer's needs", an executive from Mondelez International has argued.

Bonin Bough, Chief Media/eCommerce Officer at the snacks giant, discussed the potential of customising cookies and similar items at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016.

And while Mondelez has engaged in "little experiments" in this area to date – for instance, letting consumers create unique Oreo packaging during the last holiday season – he suggested the longer-term possibilities run much deeper.

"For us, is there a role where a consumer is using a Fitbit to track the number of steps, and based on the number of steps that they've done, they can actually get an Oreo that's suitable?" Bough said as an example. (For more, including more insights into personalisation, read Warc's report: How can Mondelez improve the Oreo? Getting a taste for customized cookies.)

"Or you can have an Oreo with different allergy profiles. Or you can have an Oreo that has different sugar profiles for diabetics.

"That's really interesting to me, because then I think it's not necessarily about variety; it's about creating a product that is tailored to the consumer's needs, that's really tied to health, wellness, those kinds of areas.

"I think that's something really interesting – that's a real proposition, and an opportunity to bring real benefit to consumers."

In illustrating why the proposition requires further development, he cited Cadbury Direct – a UK service which allows consumers to personalise packaging, but has not yet matched the success enjoyed by its Oreo program from late 2015.

"Our Cadbury Direct business – which is similar, where you customise the packaging – is small. It doesn't really scale. That proposition is just not there. So I still think there's a lot of work to be done," Bough admitted.

"And I think we have a lot work to do – as an industry, but specifically at our organisation – just to understand what is customisation as a true consumer proposition.

"Are we actually going after a true consumer proposition, or are we just doing it because HP provides the technology for us to do it?"

Data sourced from Warc