Mondelez Philippines country head Ashish Pisharodi
MANILA – Mondelez Philippines, formerly Kraft Philippines, has introduced new flavors to its famous brands in an effort to boost sales in the local market.
Mondelez Philippines country head Ashish Pisharodi said that in the last five months, the snack food firm has implemented strategies to become “a company with a Filipino heart.”
“One of the challenges of corporations is you have a big brand that is well-known in many parts of the world, but how do you become relevant in the market where you operate?” Pisharodi said in a press briefing on Thursday.
Just this month, Mondelez introduced a coconut-flavored Oreo to the Philippine market.
Pisharodi said the coconut filling is sourced locally while the cookies are produced in Indonesia.
“Our local consumers, we know they love coconut. Coconut is really the fruit of life, it’s something that we cannot do without here,” he said.
Powdered drink Tang has also released new flavors to cater to the Philippine market: Calamansi, Dalandan, and Honey Lemon. These flavors are sold only in the Philippines.
However, Pisharodi said the firm is open to exporting these products to other Asian countries.
“We love to learn from each other. I will not be surprised if we extend this to neighboring countries. If it does well, then why not? Why not in Indonesia or Malaysia really soon?” he said.
Mondelez is the company behind Eden and Cheez Whiz, which it considers its legacy brands. Late last year, Mondelez launched the Eden mayo spread and sandwich spread.
A “sweet” Cheez Whiz, the Milky Delight, was also released last year.
Multi-pack for sari-sari stores
Aside from new flavors, Mondelez also introduced innovations in its packaging to suit the local market.
“Eden is the only product in its category on a stand-up pouch and resealable spout because most of our consumers told us that while we do eat sandwiches and salads at home, we also have a lot of family outings,” Pisharodi said.
Mondelez has also started releasing its brands in low-unit or multi-packs, which Pisharodi said are sold in sari-sari stores.
“That’s how a lot of moms like it because they can then do portion control and they will know how much is being consumed,” said Pisharodi.
“Although we have been in the Philippines for 51 years, it feels like we’ve done 51 years of innovation for the Philippines for the past five months. There’s been a lot of action,” he added.
Mondelez Philippines is confident that its sales will continue to grow this year on the back of these innovation efforts to localize brands.
Pisharodi said there are growth opportunities in the snacking segment, and the firm will be aggressive in its campaign to boost sales for its biscuits brands, which include Oreo, Chips Ahoy and Tiger.
“We would love to see them on the top of the pedestal very, very soon,” he said.
Mondelez changed its name from Kraft Foods in 2003 due a global split of the entire Kraft Foods company. The grocery business in the US retained the name Kraft while the snack segment was named Mondelez International, of which Mondelez Philippines is a part of.