Last Updated Jun 21, 2011 2:37 PM EDT
At Kraft, the resurgence of Tang comes amidst a concerted effort to boost the company's overseas business. Its contentious and drawn-out acquisition of Cadbury last year helped the company double its market share in developing markets. CEO Irene Rosenfeld says that within the next three years, one third of Kraft's sales will be not just be outside of the U.S., but in developing countries, where people are just beginning to transition from traditional diets based on simple cooking to our model of processed, prepared foods with endless options for snacking.
So, besides Tang, what exactly will Kraft's customers in Brazil, India and China be consuming lots more of? Kraft already has that mapped out with its 10 "power brands" for developing countries:
- Oreo cookies
- Social Club crackers
- Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolates
- Milka chocolate
- Lacta chocolate
- Trident gum
- Tiger Biscuits
- Jacobs coffee
- Halls lozenges
Ten years from now, developing countries will also have a lot more fast food outlets. KFC has been enormously successful in conquering the Chinese market and McDonald's is in a race to catch up. Subway recently hit its 200th store in India. And Nestle recently acquired a 60% stake in a Chinese company that makes things like ready-to-drink peanut milk and instant canned rice porridge.
The biggest winners in this grab for global market share will be the ones who do the best job customizing their offerings to local tastes and distinct cultural sensibilities. In addition to its original orange flavor, Kraft came up with mango Tang in the Philippines, soursop in Brazil, horchata in Mexico and pineapple in the Middle East. In in China, Oreos are smaller, less sweet and contain green-tea-flavored filling. And KFC has done a great job customizing its chicken products for Chinese tastes.
As for whether the relatively unobese, undiabetic populations of China, India, Brazil and the Philippines will emerge as winners in this race for culinary colonialism -- well, that's another matter entirely.
- The New Fast Food Nation: KFC Is Making More Money in China Than in the U.S.
- Oreos in India: Emerging Markets Are Key to Kraft's Turnaround
- Oreos For Everyone: Food Companies Target Emerging -- And Less Obese -- Markets For Growth
- Exporting Western Diets: Yum Brands' Expanding Global Fast Food Empire