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Classic U.S. munchies get odd twists overseas
The company, based in Battle Creek, Mich., already sells products in more than 180 countries. It is learning that on-the-ground insights can pay off. In Europe, for instance, Kellogg for many years marketed its cereals there just as it did in the U.S., but it failed to take into account that many in the region don’t drink cold milk in the morning.
Now, an American traveling in Spain might find it surreal to see TV ads showing All-Bran cereal floating in a steaming cup of coffee. Kellogg, which makes Keebler, Cheez-It and Kashi bars, declined to give details on how well the cereal is selling there, but it said the marketing has resulted in “great results.”
A similar story played out for PepsiCo. For the first time last year, revenue from the company’s international snacks division surpassed revenue in North America. To achieve that, PepsiCo has had to adjust its recipes.
In 2005, PepsiCo’s food division began a quest to make its Lay’s potato chips more appealing to local tastes in Russia. It wasn’t easy. Russians still like packaged versions of a Soviet-era snack — stale bread slathered in oil and baked to a crisp.
To get a better sense of what Russians like, employees traveled across the country to visit people in their homes and talk about what they eat day to day. That was a big task. Russia has nine time zones and spans 7,000 miles, with eating habits that vary by region.
The findings were invaluable for executives at the company’s Purchase, N.Y., headquarters. In the eastern part of the country, PepsiCo found that fish is a big part of the diet. So it introduced “Crab” chips in 2006. It’s now the third most popular flavor in the country.
A “Red Caviar” flavor does best in Moscow, where caviar is particularly popular. “Pickled Cucumber,” which piggybacks off of a traditional appetizer throughout Russia, was introduced last year and has become the fourth most popular flavor.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
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