Mondelez's online sales have soared 78%. Its CMO lays out how it's trying to cash in with direct-to-consumer efforts like a site where people can design their own Oreos

Mondelez's online sales have soared 78%. Its CMO lays out how it's trying to cash in with direct-to-consumer efforts like a site where people can design their own Oreos

November 12, 2020
  • Oreo and Ritz maker Mondelez is among food giants that have benefited from the pandemic, with its e-commerce sales soaring 78% year-over-year.
  • It's capitalizing on the momentum by increasing its ad spending on e-commerce platforms and investing in direct-to-consumer channels, including a new site where people can customize their own Oreos.
  • It's also using data more to inform how it buys digital media.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sales of comfort foods and snacks have surged in the pandemic, and Oreo and Ritz maker Mondelez is capitalizing on the momentum by shifting advertising to e-commerce platforms like Amazon, with digital now making up the majority of its ad spending.

Like Hershey and General Mills, Mondelez has also shifted ad dollars into e-commerce retail platforms like Amazon and Instacart in the US, Ocado in the UK, and Tmall and JD.com in China, CMO Martin Renaud told Business Insider. E-commerce advertising is part of its digital ad spending, which grew 25% this year.

Read More: General Mills' online sales are soaring as people shop from home. Its brand chief lays out the steps it's taking to build on the growth.

E-commerce has been taking off for Mondelez, growing 78% year-over-year in the quarter that ended Sept. 30 and going from 3% of its net revenue in all of 2019 to around 5% during the pandemic.

Mondelez is also prioritizing its direct-to-consumer channels to take advantage of the online shopping growth.

It's sold customized mixes of Sour Patch Kids and has DTC sites for brands like Tate's and Perfect Snacks in the US and a gifting-themed site for Cadbury in the UK.

This week, it's launching a DTC site for the Oreo brand called OreoID where people can people customize and design their own cookies.

Mondelez is also getting more sophisticated in how it uses data to target people online, using its tool called MDLZ Data Spine that aggregates data and uses it to inform ad-buying decision and collecting first-party data on customers so it can target groups like the elderly, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and families. 

"With digital, each time we have more exchanges with consumers, we form direct connections, which are data points we can use to understand who they are better," Renaud said. "And that allows us to target and adapt our messaging more precisely."

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