Brand New: Exclusive insights from Mondelez, Kirin and AB InBev feature in our round-up

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Exclusive insights from Mondelez, Kirin and AB InBev feature in this edition of Brand New. ©Getty Images
Exclusive insights from Mondelez, Kirin and AB InBev feature in this edition of Brand New. ©Getty Images

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Exclusive insights from Mondelez, Kirin and AB InBev feature in this edition of Brand New.

Mondelez exclusive part 1: New Malaysia and Singapore MD reveals localisation and digitisation plans

Mondelez International’s newly appointed Managing Director for Malaysia and Singapore has revealed product localisation and digitisation as key priorities to drive the company’s regional growth, in an exclusive interview.

Global snacking giant Mondelez appointed Narmeen Khan as Managing Director for its Malaysia and Singapore businesses recently in February 2022 to succeed former market head James Kane, from her previous role as Managing Director in Pakistan, bringing a total of 17 years of experience with the company.

Khan highlighted her hopes and plans for her newly-commissioned markets in an exclusive interview with FoodNavigator-Asia​, stressing Malaysia and Singapore as Mondelez’s ‘key growth markets in South East Asia’​.

While consumer profiles differ and the market size varies to Pakistan, the consumers [in both regions] share the same love for iconic brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk and OREO - In fact, we remain a category leader in the chocolate and biscuit categories for these markets,”​ she told us.

Mondelez exclusive part II: Sustainability and affordability key for ASEAN snacking growth – Malaysia and Singapore MD

Mondelez International’s newly appointed Managing Director for Malaysia and Singapore believes that it is crucial to build in sustainability and affordability as core business components if it is to grow its snacking business in the region, even if that means tackling more challenges head on.Story:

Narmeen Khan told us how the firm views sustainability and affordability as key criteria that need to be built into its snacking business in order to achieve sustainable growth.

[We already know that] consumers today are aligning purchase decisions with their values and how they impact the people and planet,”​ she told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Trend-based launches: Kirin rolls out first hard seltzers and new Japanese whiskey products

Alcohol giant Kirin has launched out its first hard seltzers in Japan as well as a new whiskey in response to rising trends surrounding ready-to-drink (RTD) consumption and sustained interest in the country’s whiskey sector.

The RTD alcoholic drinks consumption trend is picking up speed particularly amongst Japanese consumers in the 20 to 30-year-old age group, with Kirin highlighting that the sales forecast for hard seltzers has been predicted to grow to take over approximately 11% of Japan’s entire local RTD category sales.

This will be very significant not just for the company but for the beverage industry as a whole due to the sheer values involved - as of 2022 the RTD category sales value came in at US$152mn, and this is predicted to reach US$395mn by 2027.

“Kirin Brewery saw that RTD consumption has been growing rapidly partly due to the influence of COVID-19 leading to more ‘chill our and relax’ occasions which are very suitable as RTD consumption opportunities,”​ Kirin Corporate Communications Assistant Manager Yoko Shiode told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

AB InBev exclusive Part I: Regional President on how booze business kept fizzing amid pandemic

AB InBev India and South East Asia President Kartikeya Sharma has reveals how the firm utilised innovation and marketing strategies to weather COVID-19 challenges and emerge with healthy brand growth, in the first part of our exclusive interview.

The alcohol industry in India took a heavy hit across both 2020 and 2021 with the government implementing alcohol bans as part of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions – and even industry heavyweights such as AB InBev were not spared the impacts of this.

“The industry as a whole basically just came to a grinding halt, particularly in Q2 of last year,”​ Sharma told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

AB InBev exclusive part II: Premiumisation and experimentation driving Asia growth – Regional President

Introduction:Premiumisation and flavour experimentation are the major trends driving growth for the alcohol industry in Indian and South East Asia, AB InBev’s Regional President revealed in the second part of our exclusive interview.

The trends guiding the industry have experienced some changes to reflect consumer needs in the new normal, with premiumisation and flavour experimentation having emerged as major market drivers.

“Across not just India but also South East Asia, we are seeing that people are increasingly willing to pay more for better quality products, leading to the rise of the premiumisation trend,”​ Sharma told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

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