Many of the same trends retailers and food manufacturers are grappling with in the United States also are playing out in the U.K. and Europe, where channel-blurring has amplified competition and cash-strapped consumers are cutting back in an uncertain economy.
Emerging markets, however, offer new growth opportunities as shoppers, flush with more discretionary income, are clamoring for foreign products perceived to be of higher quality. Retailers and CPGs are sitting up and taking notice. "The race is on for us to secure and expand our positions in these fast-growing markets," Mondelez International Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said at the Citi 2013 Global Consumer Conference in late May. "Our competitors also find emerging markets attractive, so competition will intensify in the near term. That's why stepping up our investments now is critical to deliver long-term shareholder value."
Mondelez is investing about $100 million in focused emerging markets this year with plans to spend $200 million in 2014 and as much as $300 million in 2015. Much of the spending will be used for marketing support of the company's well-known brands, including the launch of Stride gum in China, FoxBusiness.com reported.
GLOBAL INFORMATION AGE
People the world over know about popular brands in part due to growing use of the Internet and social media. As the information age has gone global, consumers increasingly are demanding to know what they are consuming and where it came from, says Andrew Swedenborg, executive vice president at King Retail Solutions in Eugene, Ore. That's causing a trend toward localization and well-curated merchandising, as well as growth through mergers and acquisitions.
King Retail Solutions
"It is very much a global world. It's very global; it's very quick. With social media, what we know here they're going to know in London very fast," Swedenborg says. The trend toward healthier eating, including more organic products and local foods, also is an international one, he says.