Kraft cooks up bubblegum biscuits to court Chinese
IOL Business - Jun 8th 2012, 08:01
There are no bad ideas inside Kraft Foodsâ€™ biscuit research laboratory in China, says director and Kraft food scientist Maggie Wang. Not even the chewing gum Oreo cookie that a colleague asked her to bite into one day.
Instead of creamy white â€śstuffâ€ť in the centre, a glob of gum was sandwiched neatly between a pair of Oreoâ€™s iconic dark chocolate biscuits.
â€śThe taste was okay. The problem was that you could not swallow it,â€ť Wang says.
Investment may be powering the Chinese economy but experiments like the gum cookie, which never made it to store shelves, are a reminder that consumption is rising sharply. That means it is vital for food firms to get the right products into the market, particularly with demand dimming in the US and Europe.
A survey published earlier this year by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai showed that for about three in five of its member firms, the top priority is producing or sourcing goods in China for the Chinese market.
â€śThe stereotype is weâ€™re exporting jobs and everythingâ€™s being manufactured with cheap labour and sent back, and thatâ€™s not the case at all,â€ť said Kent Kedl, the managing director of China and north Asia for the consultancy Control Risks, which collaborated on the chamberâ€™s survey.
China overtook the US as the biggest new car market three years ago and became the top grocery market last year. â€“ Reuters
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