According to Mondelez VP of Strategy and Commercial Excellence AMEA Tomas Centeno, a huge proportion of its sales in stores are being influenced by the digital realm.
“The increasingly close connection between online, digital experiences, and offline, snacking choices is a key trend to note,” he told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Consumers are turning to social media platforms and other digital channels to discover snacks, [our internal studies have shown that] 86% of them make in-store snack purchases after seeing or hearing about it online.
“Recognising this, we are focused on making this experience more enjoyable by introducing tailored recommendations for consumers based on their past snack purchases or even personalised packaging.”
More sophisticated consumer demands such as personalisation will likely become more widespread based on the experiences they enjoy online, as will growing demands for more sustainable products/
“Consumers have become more willing to pay a premium for sustainability – We have found that close to 75% of consumers in this region will pay a small carbon tax on a snack to offset environment impact of making it,” he added.
“[This is significantly more] compared to the global average of 61%, showing that APAC consumers see this as an important element.
“Most consumers are taking action to cut down on snack packaging, and are demanding for biodegradable packaging and other solutions that go beyond recycling.”
That said, this willingness likely has a limit given the economic and inflationary pressures that most Asian markets are facing. Despite this, Mondelez remains confident that this will not affect the snacking industry as a whole given consumers’ continued demand for these products.
“We are confident that our core categories of chocolates and biscuits will remain resilient in the current economy [despite] a volatile environment, as they historically have been,” he said.
“[We have already seen that] snacking trends this year have been resilient amid turbulent times - Inflationary pressures have not stopped eight in ten consumers from finding room in their budget for snacks, with most viewing snacking as a way to take their mind off current issues or challenges that they may be experiencing.
“Like all businesses, we are managing through cost inflation to provide affordable snacking options for consumers.”
Mindful snacking coming through
Mondelez has long been pushing its message of ‘mindful snacking’ on a global level, and believes that consumers are becoming increasingly accepting of this idea based on purchasing choices.
“While we have already seen that snacking is seen as essential, 84% of consumers are also selective about the indulgent snacks they choose – this shows that consumers are starting to develop what we call ‘mindful snacking’ habits,” Centeno said.
“[This means that] they are getting more informed about their snacking choices, portion out snacks before eating them and check nutrition labels on snacks before making a purchase.”