Governments and consumers want more transparency and regulatory bodies are closely eyeing snacks, so it is more crucial than ever to come together as an industry, warns Frito-Lay’s chief marketing officer.
Anindita Mukherjee said that while the future of snacks was bright, it would need to be underpinned by a cooperative landscape where manufacturers came together as a joint force.
“Our industry is healthy, and because of that everyone is gunning for us. People are ‘snackifying’, and if we are going to remain as leaders, we have to remember that people are watching us. There are people across government and regulatory bodies, and there is a broader world where consumers are asking questions about what we’re making and selling. It is time to cooperate as an industry, because now, more than ever, consumers have transparency,” she told attendees of Snaxpo 2014 in Dallas, Texas, on Sunday March 1.
“We need to start thinking about how we can come together to fuel our growth by giving consumers not only what they want, but want to know.”
Industry must embrace Facts Up Front
Mukherjee said it was time to understand how the sector could work together to create transparency and fulfil what consumers, and also governments, wanted.
She said that all those within the category must collectively embrace the US voluntary front-of-pack labeling scheme, Facts Up Fronts. “If we’re not all playing together, we’re just going to undercut ourselves. And when we do that, we undercut the category and our ability to grow.”
Facts Up Front should feature heavily throughout snacks soon, she said, noting that Frito-Lay had already started putting Facts Up Front on some of its brands, and had plans to roll this out across the entire portfolio over the next two years.
Giving consumers more choice, together
'PepsiCo being out there alone will harm industry, we need to collectively come together to understand this demand and how to work together to continue to grow,' says Mukherjee
Beyond labeling and transparency, Mukherjee said that the snacks sector also needed to collectively develop more choice for consumers to fuel category growth.
“Whether you’re a large company like PepsiCo, a start-up, or smaller, everyone should have an opportunity because consumers want choice. We need to give headroom for people to give our consumer choice, and when we do it together, we win together,” she said.
This market development must not be left to bigger brands, she stressed.
“PepsiCo being out there alone will harm industry, we need to collectively come together to understand this demand and how to work together to continue to grow.”
Joining forces would stimulate higher sales figures, faster growth and more profitability for the entire sector, she said.
“We compete and work in an industry that is probably one that is most on-trend. The wind is absolutely at our backs, but we are facing massive change. It’s incumbent upon use to come together and understand how to continue that wine, to drive growth of this industry, not only for the category or our retail customers but our end users, because ultimately, they’re the ones that will vote,” the chief marketing officer said.
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