Mars China teams up with Alibaba

Confectionery companies are chomping into the global eCommerce boom, with Mars China forming a strategic collaboration with China’s Alibaba just days after competitor Mondelez refreshed its partnership with Facebook.
Mars is putting all its brands in China on Alibaba’s and Taobao platforms, including Dove, Snickers, M&Ms and Wrigley Extra, together worth more than $1 billion.
Mondelez and another competitor, Nestle, partnered with Alibaba earlier this year.
Mars says Alibaba’s network will help expand its efficiency and reach. Mars is the top chocolate confectionery brand in China with 44.4 per cent market share, according to global market and research company Mintel, while Mondelez has 1.6 per cent of the market.
Alibaba will also co-operate with Mars Global Food Safety Center to enhance eCommerce food-safety management, promote consumer education and share research findings with industry stakeholders.
Consumer insight firm Profitero says western confectionery brands are establishing their own stores on Tmall as they have more control over how their products are presented. Mars is hoping to attract China’s younger generation via the platform as they rely on e­Commerce.
Meanwhile, to counteract the move by Mars, Mondelez will devote 65 per cent of its total digital budget to mobile this year. Spokesperson Valerie Moens says the company is working with top Chinese apps across categories, such as social, chat, photography, weather and movie bookings.
But its focus is on consumer insights and messaging through Facebook, and leveraging these insights to deliver better creative and mobile experiences.

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