Usman Muneer, Managing Director, Mondelez International sits down with Synergyzer to share insight into Trident’s recent launch in Pakistan.
Synergyzer: What product portfolio is Mondelēz International marketing and manufacturing in Pakistan presently?
Usman Muneer: Mondelez International offers four different categories of products globally as well as locally in Pakistan, which includes chocolates, candies, beverages, chewing gum, and biscuits.
We produce and sell the chocolate brands Cadbury Dairy Milk, Bubbly, Marvelous creations, and Perk in Pakistan; the candy brands Cadbury Éclairs and Soft Mint; and the powdered beverage, Tang. Also, we have just launched one of our chewing gum brands, Trident, which we are importing from Egypt and Turkey.
In the biscuit category, Mondelēz International has a joint venture with Continental Biscuits for Prince, TUC and Oreo.
Synergyzer: What are your market shares in the country in these categories?
Usman: In terms of chocolates and powdered beverages we currently have a market share of approximately 40 to 45 percent for each. We have not measured our market share in the candy business up till now.
Synergyzer: Who are the closest competitors for Mondelez International in the local and imported categories?
Usman: In chocolates, our closest well-established competitor is Candyland which has the second highest market share. Also, imported chocolates like Mars, Snickers, Nestle’s Kit Kat etc. are our close competitors. The closest competitors for Tang are Hilal’s Limopani and Fruitily by National Foods, which are also two other big brands. Furthermore, in the chewing gum category, we face stiff competition from Hilal’s Fresh Up & Ding Dong, while Wrigley’s is our prime imported competition.
Synergyzer: How do you intend to compete with local products and engage your target audience effectively?
Usman: Through Trident, we are entering and developing the adult gum segment in the country. Our main competitors are Extra, Orbit, and Chiclets, which although available in retail, do not follow a communication strategy.
Locally, there are two kinds of gum categories: Bubble gums, which are mostly consumed by children, Hilal’s Ding Dong being the highest market share holder in this category and then there are sensorial gums which are center filled, like Fresh Up, which is again by Hilal.
While local gums are not geared for our particular segment, we want to target those who chew gum for mouth refreshment with our brand. Additionally, there is a target market out there which does not chew gum and we are targeting them as well.
Synergyzer: What properties make Trident an adult gum?
Usman: The proposition that Trident offers is a more developed sense of taste. Apart from keeping it sugar-free which offers a calorie count benefit to our adult gum consumers, we include fruit and mint flavors that refresh the mouth with a taste and feel that is different from bubble gums and sensorial gums. Also, interestingly when you chew gum it increases the blood circulation in the brain so it has certain health benefits also.
Synergyzer: Which age bracket are you particularly targeting?
Usman: Our target audience is the urban population between the ages of 18 to 35, bull’s eye 18 to 25.
Synergyzer: What communications strategy are you following for trident?
Usman: We have two angles to our communication strategy. Firstly, to communicate the aspect of refreshment and its benefits as showcased in our ad, ‘Trident – Refreshes Mouth & Mind. Secondly, to create a chewing gum culture through our trade executions. By using messages such as ‘CAUTION! STOP!, the idea is to grab the attention of prospective customers and make them want to have Trident at that very moment and ultimately to get into the habit of eating gum for the pleasure of it with the realization that they want to refresh their mouth with a Trident gum.
Synergyzer: What are your touch points?
Usman: Television, with the ‘Trident – Refreshes Mouth & Mind’ ad. We are also communicating at the trade level through in-store fixtures at checkout counters, retail branding and other POSM material such as store buntings, posters, shelf strips and danglers.
Also we have employed digital marketing and public relations, branded vending machines at malls and universities. For outdoor media we employed backlit vans and made use of outdoor projection mapping by doing a building wrap on main Shahrah-e-Faisal. We are also considering the use of outdoor media.
Synergyzer: How have you employed the digital medium and PR?
Usman: Our core focus is our Facebook page along with Google banner ads and mobile app advertising. We plan on intensifying our efforts owing to the digital platform’s relevance to our target audience, who are urbanites belonging to higher socio-economic classes.
In terms of PR, we carried out editorial and blogger outreach programs that added a lot of value easily, since we have a limited target audience.
Synergyzer: In the wake of the controversy faced by Mondelez International and Lays earlier over halal certification, how is the company planning to deal with it for Trident?
Usman: Our products are fully Halal certified, for every single ingredient going into the recipe as well as the manufacturing process. We import two price points. The Trident SKU being sold for Rs. 5 is from Egypt, while the one being sold for Rs. 25 is coming in from Turkey. Both have halal certifications from the respective certification bodies from the countries of manufacture, hence the difference in stamps on each SKU.
It is necessary to clarify that Trident coming through grey channels with price points different than what I just mentioned may not have a halal stamp and since we are not importing those officially, we cannot guarantee their ingredients either.
Customers have inquired about this issue on our Facebook page, Trident, and we send or post the picture of the gum that we are importing with the halal certification.