Gama spoke to Emanuel Gävert, Global Innovation Manager, Mondelez International.
What are your day to day activities as Global Innovation Manager?
They are very varied depending on the specific agenda at any given time. A typical month, however, would range from blue sky ideation sessions, consumer immersions, positioning workshops, communications development and leaping sessions through to detailed P&L discussions with specific markets, or cross functional team meetings to resolve executional challenges. What is true for most days is that the mornings are largely dedicated to Asia Pacific, midday more to Europe & Middle East and the afternoons and evenings to the Americas.
What key trends do you expect to shape food innovation in 2014?
There are five major trends. Firstly new taste & textures experiences – experiential things that stretch the boundaries in terms of new taste & textures sensations, for instance liquid coupled with crispy or sweet and savoury, etc. Then there is the “good for you” and the genuinely “good for you” – i.e. things that are perceived to be good for you and that have price parity with things that aren’t – and then things that are genuinely good for you and reassuringly expensive. Here I’m thinking of raw food snacking bars, cricket bars, etc. Also important are new inventions like chocolate with higher melting points for warmer climates, portable formats that allows for mobile lifestyles, and small formats suitable for the Twitter on-demand-generation.
What should manufacturers do to be successful in the current economic climate?
They need to be clear on their priorities and do what they do best really well. They should continue to innovate and bring to life authentic powerful brand stories that consumers can connect with and stay loyal to, as opposed to being too affected by the gloomy outlook and forget what made them famous in the first place.
Which markets (countries) or consumer groups currently offer the greatest growth opportunities for FMCG companies?
This varies depending on the market but broadly I would say the Twitter generation – emerging adults in emerging markets – and the silver generation, in more developed markets with ageing populations. Overall, go where a large majority of people live, i.e. the BRICIM (Brazil, Russia, China, India, Indonesia and Middle East ), not forgetting African countries such as Nigeria.
How do companies best achieve growth in developed or saturated markets?
There are still a lot of opportunities to grow in developed markets, but it requires braver and bolder innovations or engagement campaigns that meaningfully bring something to the market that is better than what is already there, or genuinely distinct and relevant in addition to what’s already there. I think consumers are tired of seeing “another” something and instead want to see things that bring something meaningful to the category world that they are hiring for specific benefits.
From a marketing perspective, how is the way companies are looking to reach and engage with consumers changing? How can a brand successfully resonate with consumers?
The nature of engagement and resonance with the brand is largely unchanged as that is still centred around human truths, shared values and beliefs and the likability of the offer. They way that engagement is happening and the role of the brand versus the role of consumers is what is changing. Consumers now do more of the marketer’s’ job and the role of the marketer is to bring to life the truth, values and beliefs of a brand in appropriate ways – doing meaningful things as opposed to saying something just to get attention.