According to Mondelez Greater China Senior Marketing Director, Biscuits Marketing, Holly Yuan, cherry blossoms are always a ‘hot topic’ in spring, and seasonal popularity is always a strong driver for the company’s product innovation.
“OREO launched the limited edition of new products for spring this year based on market insights – Cherry blossom is a hot topic in spring, and consumers like to try new products related to them,” she told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“We tie in with seasonal popularity and leverage Asian food and beverage culture for innovation inspiration in order to deliver various surprises to consumers. These products represent a bold attempt to reinforce the brand’s assets and seek new breakthroughs [for OREO].”
One of the major areas of focus for innovation for the new products was in terms of the colours of the actual OREO biscuits and/or fillings – The Sakura Matcha has a pink biscuit and green filling, whereas Peach Oolong has a normal chocolate biscuit but an orange filling.
“Sakura Matcha is the first pinkish OREO in history, so its lovely appearance and romantic sakura aroma will make it a favourite amongst young girls. It was of course inspired by the cherry blossom season, whereas Peach Oolong was inspired by the warmth of spring,” Yuan said.
Packaging – or rather, colourful packaging - was also very much a strong theme for this launch. OREO swapped the traditional blue outer box for a very prominent pink with a cherry blossom design, and pastel orange a white peaches design respectively.
“OREO wants consumers to delight in products using all their senses, [hence the focus on design],” said Yuan.
“Inside each box are six cute and uniquely themed separate packs, including “Good Luck with Cherry Blossoms in Spring”, “Immersed with Peaches”, and “A Peach Treat for You”. These playful packs aim to help to enhance the social networking function of the new products.”
The company has also launched a limited-edition pack of crispy rolls that comprise the chocolate, vanilla, and Sakura Matcha flavours in a single pack. These, and the special Oreos, were first launched in convenience stores in China to increase offline exposure, and have since moved to platforms such as ele.me and HiShop to launch online.
The products’ main target demographic comprises of females between 18 to 35 years old, so to enhance the appeal even further, Oreo also launched a a limited-edition gift box containing the cookies and a co-branded cushion compact foundation.
“There is a hot trend now of brands crossing over between food & beverage and fashion & beauty which helps to create hot topics on social media and make the brand more popular with fans,” Yuan added.
“OREO partnered with Perfect Diary, a popular beauty brand in China, to launch a compact foundation in two colours inspired by the spring limited-edition products: A black cushion derived from Peach Oolong, and a pink one derived from Sakura Matcha.
“The easily recognisable patterns of OREO cookies used on the compact foundation of Perfect Diary also allows for our brand image to be appreciated more deeply by the consumers.”