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Kraft and Kellogg Change Products to Meet International Flavors
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Food across the globe has been experimented with by food makers in order to appeal to different regional likes and dislikes of customers. The reason for this is that people living in developing nations, such as China, are working longer hours and have less time to cook so they rely more on American-style fast food. According to Euromonitor, the snack food industry in the United States has been flat for the past two years while sales in China, Brazil and Russia increased by 15 percent in 2010 and 11 percent in 2011 to $17 billion. That number is good for half of the market in the United States.

One of the biggest challenges for companies making snacks is the fact that consumers in other countries have different tastes when it comes to food. Kraft Food Inc. first introduced the Oreo to China in 1996. The cookie was not overwhelmingly welcomed by the Chinese even though its sales were respectable. Kraft made the decision of changing the Oreo while proceeding cautiously into a new realm.


“When you have a brand that’s 100 years old, you don’t mess with the recipe thoughtlessly,” says Lorna Davis, head of the company’s global biscuit and cookies business.

Kraft decided to offer the Oreo as a wafer in 2006, which is very popular all across Asia. The new Oreo has cream between two crispy wafers. In 2009, Kraft revamped the Oreo for the Chinese market, making it a little bit smaller and with a little bit less sweetness to it. Kraft asked hundreds of Chinese customers to test the new version of the Oreo and it was found it was a hit.

“It made us realize the smallest of details make a big difference,” Davis says.

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Kraft then one-upped themselves by offering a green tea ice cream flavor Oreo when sales in China were not doing well during the summer months. Over the next year, Kraft began producing Oreos that featured the flavors of raspberry-and-blueberry and mango-and-orange. Kraft has said that sales over the past five years have increased by an average of 60 percent per year but declined to offer revenue numbers. In China, Oreo is the top-selling cookie, owning a market share of 13 percent.

Kraft has begun doing the same thing in other countries as well. In Saudi Arabia, Kraft now offers Tang power drink with a lemon-pepper flavor while in Mexico, the powder is offered with tamarind and mandarin. Since Kraft issued the new flavors in 2006, its sales have doubles to $1 billion.

In 2011, Kellogg Co. saw its revenue in Latin America hit $1 billion for the first time in its history. Back in February, Kellogg said that it would purchase Pringles from Procter & Gamble for $2.7 billion. The purchase will turn Kellogg into the world’s second-largest snack maker behind only the PepsiCo Inc. The company’s business will triple internationally.



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