How Mondelez is crafting its story in India, 70 years after

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New Delhi | Published: July 9, 2018 12:29:15 AM

The multinational confectionery, food and beverage company, which has recently completed 70 years of existence in India, believes that the brand has grown with the country’s economy.


Mondolez is aware of the health trend growing in the country wherein people want to opt for healthier lifestyle choices.

Despite being a nation that loves its sweets, the per capita consumption of chocolates in India is still alarmingly low. In the country, about 130 grams of chocolate is consumed per capita annually (roughly about 10 grams per month); compare that to the annual per capita consumption of over 10 kilograms of chocolate in the UK. Looking at these statistics, Mondelez India has expanded its portfolio and reach in the country. “Well, for us globally, India is the utmost important market for growth,” says Anil Viswanathan, director — marketing (chocolates), Mondelez India.

The multinational confectionery, food and beverage company, which has recently completed 70 years of existence in India, believes that the brand has grown with the country’s economy.

The sweet spot

“Competition has piggybacked on what we have created in this country, but failed as chocolates are synonymous to Cadbury Dairy Milk (CDM) here,” he says.

Mondelez attributes the company’s strategy of constant innovation and evolving with Indian consumers as reasons for its growth. For instance, in the ’70s and ’80s, the brand was only available in certain areas and its ads usually showcased a man coming back home with a chocolate bar in his pockets for his child. But as consumption patterns changed over time, the company targeted not just children but adults as well. In the last decade, it has positioned itself as something meetha — a strategy to counter traditional Indian sweets and the reach of local sweet shops.

Having said that, no brand journey is spared controversies. Who can forget the year 2003 when worms were discovered in some samples of CDM chocolate — one of the biggest controversies in the Indian FMCG space? “Yes, there have been insta-nces where people have questioned us, but we have never shied away from taking responsibility,” Viswanathan says.

But gaining trust and the

leadership position isn’t an easy task — it is tough to keep up with the various consumer segments in today’s competitive times. But Mondelez believes it has products for each segment.
“With Silk, we talk to adults in affluent markets while with Gems we cater to children even in rural areas with the small sized packs and low pricing,” Viswanathan explains.

Giving in to indulgence

Over the years, the company has changed its marketing strategy as well. It talks to various age groups at numerous occasions. “Valentine’s Day and Silk go hand in hand while Children’s Day sees Dairy Milk Lickables ads across mediums,” he adds.

Not only this, the company now focusses a lot on gifting. Over the years, it has changed the concept of gifting in India — moving from mithai to chocolate — which can now even come with
personalised messages.

Nonetheless, the brand is aware of the health trend growing in the country wherein people want to opt for healthier lifestyle choices. “We want to be the ‘treat’ one has after a strict health regime or otherwise,” asserts Viswanathan. And therefore, it is now making its products available in ‘bite-able’ sizes. A well-oiled supply chain machinery has driven it for years to reach the remotest areas in the country and be displayed at the top shelf of stores. With changing times, Mondelez is also looking at omnichannel with a new team on board to look at the e-commerce space.

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