Big brand boost: Mondelez’s underscores global remit of new Indonesian cocoa crop science centre

By Pearly Neo contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelez’s first cocoa crop science centre, located in Indonesia, aims to develop good quality, more sustainable beans to benefit its global chocolate brands such as Cadbury, Milka and Cote d’Or. ©Getty Images
Mondelez’s first cocoa crop science centre, located in Indonesia, aims to develop good quality, more sustainable beans to benefit its global chocolate brands such as Cadbury, Milka and Cote d’Or. ©Getty Images

Related tags: Mondelez, Indonesia, Cocoa

Mondelez’s first cocoa crop science centre, located in Indonesia, aims to develop good quality, more sustainable beans to benefit its global chocolate brands such as Cadbury, Milka and Cote d’Or – with the firm stressing the need to intensify production while protecting the environment.

The centre has been dubbed the Pasuruan Cocoa Technical Center (PCTC) and was officially launched in October 2020.

“We selected Indonesia to locate our cocoa crop science centre in as a lot of our cocoa is sourced from here, but this does not mean it will only benefit Indonesia,”​ Mondelez Indonesia Managing Director Prashant Peres told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“The main aim is for this centre to be a global one as we hope the cocoa here will help Mondelez’s chocolate business all over the world, especially Cadbury across countries.

“For Indonesia specifically, we also hope that this will help to grow Cadbury further locally.”

The centre itself is estimated to have cost Mondelez some US$13mn in investment, and is hoped to complement the firm’s global cocoa sustainability and outreach programme Cocoa Life in which it has invested around US$400mn.

“We’ll be looking at things like optimizing the nutrition for the cocoa plants e.g. the right amounts of fertilizer but not too much so as to produce good quality beans,”​ Mondelez Cocoa Technology Science Manager told us.

“We also want to intensify production, which would mean producing more cocoa from the same amount of land so as to minimize the expansion of our footprint on the environment.”

Peres added that this centre is expected to be a ‘win win win’, saying: “It’s a win for Mondelez as the company gets better quality cocoa, it’s a win for our community partners and farmers as the research here will help them improve yields and income, and it’s a win for the planet as we look to developing more sustainable production technology.”

Unique to Indonesia

Mondelez has three ‘big businesses’ in Indonesia which are biscuits, chocolates and cheese – each with their own representative brands.

“Oreo is the number one for biscuits, it’s very strong both here and worldwide, and in Indonesia there’s also Biskuat Tiger which has its origins here and is targeted at children with vitamins and nutrition credentials,”​ said Peres.

“Then for chocolates of course Cadbury is our main brand, whereas for cheese in Indonesia we are the pioneers for the Kraft brand here which is also a market leader. Cheese may not strictly be a snack, but we found it to complement very well with snacks and during snacking occasions.”

As for strictly locally unique products, Mondelez also has a ‘bolu’ segment, which are packaged soft cakes.

Oreo Mondelez Indonesia
Various Oreo products in Indonesia. ©Mondelez Indonesia

“Here we have variants such as Oreo Soft Cake, Biskuat Bolu and Keju (cheese) Cake,”​ he said.

“There are also Oreo Minis, which were started and manufactured in Indonesia – these were designed as a great snack on the go that could be eaten in the car in one bite each, or for children so they could have something they could handle better.”

Snacking trends in Indonesia

According to Mondelez’s State of Snacking study for Indonesia, consumers here are prone to snacking slightly more than they consume proper meals.

“Indonesian consumers on average eat 3.2 snacks vs 3 meals a day, and this is above the global average too, indicating that they want many small meals as opposed to fewer large ones,”​ said Peres.

“This could be attributed to the fact that Indonesian culture is very affiliative, we enjoy company and use snacking breaks to connect with others. Conversely, it could also be because many Indonesians, over 90%, use snacks to find quiet, individual moments for themselves. The key is really just finding the right snack for the right moment.”

Mondelez Indonesia is launching Oreo wafers – layers of flat wafers and cream which are Oreos translated to a wafer format – to meet local trends and demands.

“It’s a light snack, which is not just sweet but a combination of bitterness and sweetness that took us a long time to get right,”​ Peres said.

“It’s part of what consumers want right now – they want that crunch and that light-hearted feeling in a snack that can be for the family.

“In addition, Indonesia is moving towards transparency in snacks - consumers tend to be aware of the role snacks play, they may know there is sugar in a product but just want to know about it transparently, and want that reassurance about ingredients and awareness of the calories it has.”

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