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Mondelez links up with Alibaba

News, 11 April 2016
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HANGZHOU/CHICAGO: Mondelez International, the food and beverage giant, has formed a strategic partnership with Alibaba Group, China's largest retailer, to reach more Chinese consumers via e-commerce platforms.

Under the terms of the agreement, it means that well-known Mondelez brands, such as Oreo, belVita, Toblerone and Cadbury, will be made available to Chinese consumers on Alibaba's Tmall online marketplace.

In addition, the two companies will co-operate in key areas like consumer insight, cloud computing, branding and advertising solutions, product innovation and the expansion of sales and distribution channels.

Tim Cofer, chief growth officer at Mondelez International, said in a statement that the new partnership would significantly advance the company's goal of generating e-commerce revenues of at least $1bn by 2020.

"Snacking is a fast-growing sector for the e-commerce market in China and Alibaba is a powerful partner to help us capture our share of that growth by expanding our distribution channels and improving our brands' accessibility in both rural and urban Chinese markets," he said.

Mondelez is not content to limit sales in China to just its existing brands and it plans to launch a number of exclusive products to expand reach and accelerate growth.

Oreo Colorfilled, a brand that allows fans to customise their own Oreo packaging, was originally piloted in the US at the end of last year, but will now launch in China in May after being developed exclusively for Tmall customers.

Commenting on the deal, Jet Jing, vice president of Alibaba Group, said: "We look forward to helping Mondelez International fully utilise our e-commerce ecosystem and technology infrastructure to successfully build their brands and effectively reach the 407m annual active buyers on our China retail marketplaces who are looking for quality international products that Mondelez International provides."

Alibaba's new partnership with Mondelez is the latest in a series of strategic alliances that it has already formed with other major FMCG groups and retailers, such as Unilever and Germany's Metro Group.

All of which may have helped Alibaba to claim last week that it has now overtaken Walmart to become the world's largest retailer.

Although Alibaba has yet to announce its results for the last quarter of its fiscal year ending on March 31, the company said its sales had outpaced Walmart, which posted revenues of $482.1bn for its fiscal year that ended on January 31.

Data sourced from Mondelez, China Daily; additional content by Warc staff

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