Food, it’s often said, is the great unifier. But as a senior rep from snack food behemoth Mondelēz admitted recently, the good old connection it used to have with consumers had become “a little bit broken” of late.

“During the last couple of years, the challenge was more around bringing down costs and improving margins,” said Neslihan Uysal Koçak, Mondelēz’s international director of chocolate category insights for AMEA, at the MRMW APAC conference held in Singapore.

“Therefore, we lost some of our connections with consumers.”

Bringing back consumer-centricity was the answer, and while the organisation was keeping up with traditional research methods such as customer safaris, immersions and in-home visits – “We never missed them; we still do them” – the consumer climate was also changing.

It’s vital for the FMCG industry to regularly connect with their clients: “In one year, everything has changed,” Koçak said.