Mondelez bids to make coffee sustainability marketing more ‘tangible’

Mondelez International will promote the impact coffee drinkers can have on its supply and demand chain more than it has done in the past for brands such as Kenco and Carte Noire as part of a wider 2014 marketing drive to capitalise on the rising demand for quality roasts.

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Mondelez will give its sustainability efforts around coffee farming more prominence next through a cross-brand marketing push.

The move will see the beverage producer roll out campaigns for its top coffee brands that promote its pledge to invest a minimum of $200m (£123.8m) to empower one million coffee-farming entrepreneurs by 2020. The “Coffee Made Happy” strategy, launched earlier this year, has been pushed internally to date, however the business says this will change in 2014 when it plans to give a more “tangible” feel to its latest sustainability effort in an attempt to understand the shifting underlying emotional motivations of drinkers.

Mondelez declined to give further details but said it would involve on-pack activity to showcase the quality of its coffees. It is also looking to beef up its one year-old Kenco Rewards loyalty programme ahead of the move.

With the UK coffee market doubling in size since 2005 to an estimated £2.1bn turnover, consumers have more brands to choose from, according to Euromonitor. This means that more people are making the decision of what and where to drink based on perceived quality, the research firm says.

Duncan Shearman, global director for Coffee R&D at Mondelez, told Marketing Week the shift is pushing it to market a more premium experience in the on-demand category. On demand is the fastest growing sector of the UK coffee market with machine sales rising by 85 per cent between 2008 and 2012, according to Nielsen.

Shearman adds: “The market is growing at a nice rate. It’s being driven not so much by volume but by the price people are willing to pay because they want a better coffee experience.”

The efforts are being led from the company’s Global Centre of Excellence for Coffee Research and Development in Banbury where numerous premiumisation projects are currently underway around its Kenco Millicano, Carte Noire, Jacobs and Tassimo variants. Mondelez, which is the world’s second largest coffee manufacturer by sales, is planning to launch some of the products in the coming months as it steps up efforts to  expand its share of the premium coffee market.

The increased focus on provenance and premiumisation stems from the coffee shop explosion of recent years that has seen rival Nespresso bolster its business through store growth. While there are no plans to follow suit, Mondelez said it would continue to support to exploit the growing café culture through new product launches under its Tassimo coffee machines and Costa tie-up. The partnership has been a “gamechanger” for the Tassimo brand’s growth over the last 12 months, according to Shearman, and the brand remains open to similar deals moving forward.

The Tassimo brand will be used as a key platform for driving cross-brand partnerships in the beverage category as Mondelez looks to extend the likes of Cadbury and Wispa to new consumption occasions.

Meanwhile, Mondelez is to start selling single-serve coffee capsules compatible with machines made by rival Nestle under its Jacobs and Carte Noire brands in Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland later this year, and could expand further. While the business already produces its own single-serve system, under the Tassimo brand, Nestle’s rival Nespresso system is the dominant product in Europe. Nespresso has a global market share of around one-third of the $10bn (£6.2bn) coffee capsule market, according to Euromonitor.

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