Mondelēz adds Minions mints in China with Stride

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelēz's Stride brand made up 1.34% of the overall Chinese confectionery market in 2016.  Photo: Mondelēz's Twitter
Mondelēz's Stride brand made up 1.34% of the overall Chinese confectionery market in 2016. Photo: Mondelēz's Twitter

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Mondelēz has launched Minions-themed varieties of Stride mints in China  through partnership a partnership with Universal Pictures.

The new mint products are available in four flavors including melon, grape, strawberry and mint.

The announcement via Twitter came about a month after the company started breaking ground on its gum R&D center in Jurong, Singapore, as part of a $65m investment in developing a global network of research and development facilities.

Mondelēz currently operates an R&D center in Suzhou City, China, in addition others in Singapore and Mumbai, India.

Quickly climbing up in market share

The latest market data released from Euromonitor’s Shanghai division shows that Mondelēz introduced Stride to China in 2012, relatively later than the number one gum and mint player in the country, Mars-Wrigley.

Wrigley held a dominant 7.15% share in the Chinese domestic confectionery market in 2016, even though its share has been declining over the past four years, according to the data. Its market share reached its peak in 2012 at 8.74%.

Mondelēz's Stride brand has quickly gained market share in the category since it was brought to the country, and experienced continuous share growth until 2015. In 2016, brand’s share dropped 0.01 percentage points to 1.34%.

The share shrinkage is in line with Mondelēz’s 2016 full-year results​, which the company recently reported its gross profit declined 12% to $10.1bn, while net earnings dropped 77.2% to $1.7bn.

Industry analysts have  previously pointed out that “continued currency weakness”​ in emerging markets, such as China, may still limit Mondelēz’s room to drive higher margins.

Competing with Asian brands

Despite the late introduction of its Stride brand, Mondelēz still maintains one of the best-selling confectionery brands in China in terms of retail value, Euromonitor said, following Mars, Nestlé, Perfetti Van Melle, Ferrero, as well as domestic companies, such as Guangdong Strong and Fujian Yake Food.

Besides Wrigley, the only domestic brand that outnumbered Mondelēz’s Stride is Yake, which is known for manufacturing YiYa (teeth-benefiting) sugarless mint candy and Wenme (Kiss More) gum.

Yake has been steadily gaining market share over the past six years, Euromonitor data shows. In 2016, the brand made up 2.01% of the category.

Korean sweet snack company Orion Confectionery also holds a noticeable market share in the gum and mint category in Northeastern China - particularly Tianjin City and Shandong Province - according to trade body China Candy.

In November 2016, Orion 101-gram mixed gum bag was listed as the top-selling brand in Tianjin in retail value terms by China Candy, surpassing Stride and Wrigley.

ConfectioneryNews has contacted Mondelēz’s China team for a comment about its Stride brand strategy.

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