“How do you authentically connect with LGBT consumers?” Gary Osifchin, Mondelez International’s global vp/brand equity, asked delegates at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference.

“For us, it was pretty simple: you start with a new gum brand, you take the world’s number one cookie brand, and you take a 90-year-old cracker and reinvent it.”

Mondelez’s success with Stride gum, Oreo cookies, and Honey Maid graham crackers is a powerful exception to an unfortunate rule of targeted engagement: “The lack of ability to identify (and understand) LGBTQ individuals is among the primary barriers that marketers identified for their lack of outreach to LGBTQ consumers,” a recent ANA benchmark study reported.

“Many brands have not figured out how to engage LGBT consumers and thus [are] missing out on an undervalued and highly diverse $5.4-trillion market,” the report concluded.