Innovation critically important, says Mondelez head

26 October 2016

Product innovation is critically important for business because it’s one of the keys to unlocking growth, says Mondelez International’s New Zealand Country Head James Kane.

Speaking in a NZ Food and Grocery Council Leaders Series video interview, he says innovation was critical to staying ahead of the competition.

“We know as a business we have the ingredients in people and brands and broad portfolio to be successful, but innovation really gives us another platform to genuinely grow the category.

“The approach we take is to try and leverage the growth of our global network for innovation but also to take the best of local where we can as well.”

He says the best recent example of local product innovation was the Jaffa block, which Cadbury developed last year after asking Kiwis via a social media campaign what they were looking for. The block “struck a chord” with consumers and sold more units than any other block.

Another example of innovation was taking a global product and developing it for New Zealand tastes. Consumers told them they wanted higher cocoa content so they developed Cadbury Cocoa, which “was a great example of taking a global product but localising it by bringing it to the New Zealand marketplace”.
He says innovation is going to continue to be a massive focus for Mondelez.

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich says innovation is one of the main ingredients that keeps business growing, be it domestically or in export markets.

“The old saying ‘innovate or die’ has never been more accurate than in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.”