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“if an enterprise wants to keep a young heart, it must always be with young people.”—— Dong Hong, vice president of R & D of Mars Wrigley in China
You know what? With the development of human history, there is no food that has been accepted by people all over the world as quickly as candy and chocolate.
Europe and the United States, which love “sweetness” most, have also demonstrated the magic of candy and chocolate in films. In Charlie and the chocolate factory, the chocolate waterfall, the river flowing with brown syrup, the gum grass, the milk sugar mountain… Hide the dialogue between desire and soul; “Deep love chocolate” sets the focus of the heroine when making chocolate, and deduces a romantic love story
Not to mention “life is like chocolate” mentioned by Forrest Gump, and “love and hate with chocolate” described by Haruki Murakami in his book, and even a British writer once wrote, “It doesn’t matter that William I ascended the throne in 1066 and William II in 1087. These events have no impact on our lives… However, Mars chocolate bar in 1932, malt sugar in 1936, and cocoa beans in 1937 – these dates are historical milestones and will be imprinted on the memory of every child in this country.”
It is enough to prove that candy chocolate has never lost people’s love for thousands of years. Not only in Europe and America, the candy and chocolate industry has always been one of the pillar snack industries in China and a driving category in the food industry. Of course, with the upgrading of consumption, the demand of Chinese consumers for sweets and chocolates has gradually increased in recent years, such as sugar reduction, entertainment and socialization of packaging, size and functionality of packaging, etc.
Under such a trend, if the core needs and demands of consumers are not met and matched, and the “express train” of innovation and expansion is not taken, then in this “sweet” war, it may soon fall behind.
Among them, Mars, a century old enterprise, adheres to the vision of “the future begins with the present”. It has not only maintained the brand attitude of deeply cultivating the industry, but also continued to change and innovate with the iteration of the times and consumers, and gradually grew into an international giant in the candy industry and food industry. In today’s Chinese market, with a history of one hundred years, it still maintains a young atmosphere, and constantly introduces products that meet the needs of consumers – Defu 0 sugar black and clever, and jointly create a stem with consumers – tranquil M & M’s, entering the biscuit and ice cream market, green arrow herbal Qingrun buccal tablets
On July 26, at the fourth Isee global food innovation award ceremony held in Hangzhou, Mars won the business category of the fourth Isee Innovation Award – excellent business practice and the grand prize of the whole venue with the business case of “vision as the anchor, innovative thinking to promote sustainable development in all directions”. In addition, its green arrow herb Qingrun buccal sugar also won the comprehensive innovation award of the product category.
Green arrow herb Qingrun buccal tablet sugar
Many awards have been won. Behind the innovation of Mars
Dong Hong: consumers’ ultimate satisfaction is one of Mars’ ultimate goals. Therefore, as long as consumers have demand, we will try from the perspective of innovation.
In the process of trying, we will think about how many business opportunities there are in this category, such as ice cream. The demand of Chinese consumers for ice cream is still relatively large and there are very large business opportunities, so we will pay close attention to ice cream. After that, if we continue to find such business opportunities, we will certainly increase our investment in the Chinese market. At the same time, we will also test our ideas through some projects, such as the business opportunities just mentioned. Our brands of dove, Snickers and medissa have launched ice cream products in the Chinese market and received good market feedback.
Ling Ting: a large part of the carrier of every brand’s link with consumers is products. In the past, it was an innovation centered on the supply chain, and the factory did what it could. But today is consumer centric, and consumers can do whatever they need. When it comes to innovation, we have to mention the criticisms of large companies on the speed of innovation. What breakthrough has Mars made?
Dong Hong: Mars is still learning and groping step by step. On the one hand, the current industry partners are some experts we need to learn from, and we need to learn from them how to do this. If you have the right attitude, you can learn new things.
On the other hand, large companies have their own business operation mode. In the process of transformation from one mode to another, we need to constantly explore how to achieve stable and continuous business opportunities.
In this process, we will find that large enterprises have the advantages of large enterprises. For example, a large and stable supply chain is a strong backing for product quality and supply capacity. Since this is an advantage, we should not lose it. Then we need to think about how to increase the ability of flexible supply chain in terms of advantages, so that we can accurately grasp the needs of consumers in the first time and further support the iteration of product innovation.
Digitization is an important strategy that large companies need to do quickly. Just now, it was mentioned that the speed of launching our new products has been improved, which is attributed to the digitization. In the past, it took us several months to get some new consumer demands. Now we can get the latest consumer demands in a more timely manner, which is very helpful to innovation development and iteration.
Mars will also expand innovation with partners and cooperate with suppliers and scientific research institutions. Unlike previous internal innovation, we will share and make open innovation. In fact, external partners are very willing to cooperate with enterprises like ours, which will increase the sources of innovation.
In addition, the rapid development of China’s digital platform and the cooperation with large platforms are accelerating the incubation of products, which is also an important channel for accelerating.
Ling listen: This shows that Mars is becoming more and more open. Any innovation is made step by step. There is no so-called success in one move. A hundred year old enterprise has also come step by step.
“Effective supply” of brand innovation:
The second is external. The speed of new products made by large international companies like Mars has been criticized all the time. For us, Mars is now considering, on the one hand, using digital tools to get close to consumers and timely insight into market demand; On the other hand, the iteration of new products will be transferred to the online, and young consumers and KOL will be invited to taste and evaluate the products together. Through their opinions, the products will be made better and become new products accepted and loved by more and more consumers. This time is the process from online to offline. Through flexible supply chain, rapid response is also the process that Mars actively brings consumer ideas into product innovation.
In addition, we will also actively communicate with consumers. For example, when dove launches the new dove 0 sugar black chocolate, consumers’ evaluation and sharing of the product will become the direction of improvement in the later stage of the product.
Ling Ting: the closer you are to consumers, the more you can really hear their voices. In turn, if you iterate the products quickly, the success rate of the products will be higher. In this part, will there be some differences between the world and China?
Dong Hong: in terms of direction, Mars is positioning global brands and global products. But in terms of specific innovation, consumers are the object of innovation, and ultimately to meet the needs of local consumers. Therefore, the final manifestation of product innovation is localization.
Unleash the infinite power of sustainable development
Ling Ting: Mars has also won the excellent business practice award this time. I noticed that the theme of this award is “vision as anchor, innovative thinking to promote sustainable development in an all-round way”. Has Mars always been an important promoter of sustainable development? A few years ago, Mars put forward the “sustainable development plan for one generation”. Would you like to share the meaning of this sentence and the practice behind it?
Dong Hong: Mars has always adhered to five principles: quality, responsibility, reciprocity, efficiency and autonomy. Under such principles, Mars has a very clear vision: “the future starts from the present”, which coincides with the sustainable development advocated by ESG.
Among them, reciprocity is one of the five most important principles. We believe that the benefits that can be shared can go far. This is the core of reciprocity. In the business activities under the guidance of reciprocity, Mars has created “reciprocity economics” and is also promoting the development of reciprocity economics with relevant enterprises and industries.
Under the development of reciprocal economics, Mars launched the “one generation sustainable development plan”, which can be expressed in various forms, but its purpose is to promote the development of sustainable and reciprocal economics. Under such a framework, we will encourage more diversified and inclusive economies.
Take the Chinese market as an example. In recent years, we have launched the small town youth program in China. If young people in remote cities want to learn sales and may want to start their own business in the future, we will provide sales training and lead them to our company to see how sales are done. Our goal is to provide sales knowledge training to 100000 young people in small towns by 2025. We hope that
In the past two years, Mars has reduced nearly 1000 tons of plastic in China, which is a very difficult progress. But it is our ultimate goal to create a green world for the next generation. Plastic reduction is only one of the initial steps.
Mars has reduced nearly 1000 tons of plastic in China
Mars believes that through effective recycling, packaging will no longer be garbage that pollutes the environment.
M & M’s launches degradable composite paper packaging
Lingting: I think this is also a good example for the industry. We have also observed that in addition to low-carbon, Mars’ sustainability also emphasizes diversified human values, especially on women’s care. How Does Mars understand and practice this part?
Dong Hong: we have just talked about enterprises, partners and suppliers, but we haven’t talked about the core of our services, that is, consumers.
The current generation Z is the indigenous people of the Internet. Although their personality is very distinct, they have a more inclusive concept of life. In this process, they hope that their favorite brands can speak on their own behalf. For example, dove is very popular with female consumers. We use dove to represent hundreds of millions of female consumers behind us to tell the majority of women: what kind of life should be controlled by themselves and their own life should be their own.
Dove’s happy big film goodbye Ferris wheel
To sum up, what kind of personality consumers want, the brands they like will help them to speak for them. This is also a thing we are doing for consumers.
Ling Ting: why sustainable development has been attached great importance in the past two years, a large part of the reason is that the young people we are facing, that is, the post-90s generation or generation Z, actually attach great importance to sustainable development, so they will also choose products with such thinking. Under the trend of more and more attention to sustainability, what changes have taken place behind Mars’ observation? What impact do you think ESG performance will have on the operation and development of an enterprise?
Dong Hong: ESG is not a new topic in fact, but under the continuous impact of the epidemic, it has indeed become the focus of attention of consumers and all levels of society.
The core of ESG is the enterprise, that is, in terms of sustainable development, it has higher requirements for the enterprise. It is hoped that the enterprise will make greater contributions and drive the whole society to see not only the present but also the future. Then ESG hopes that enterprises can see the impact on society and the world, have a great expectation for the future, and learn a lot from it.
Ling Ting: how to balance sustainable responsibility, value and business behavior? Many brands may not be able to achieve both. What experience can Mars share?
Dong Hong: Mars is also in the process of learning. Transformation is not achieved overnight. It has indeed experienced some challenges and pains.
As I have just introduced to you, we have a very clear corporate vision. Since we all agree that
At the same time, Mars is willing to “lower its posture” to learn from young brands, learn how to maintain the agility of innovation and how to create together with users, and actively follow up the speed of China’s digital transformation, and use all means to open more channels and maintain unimpeded communication with young people.
In a word, to keep a young heart, we should always learn from young people and grow up with them.
“Lingting” is a brand-new column under foodaily that talks about leaders in the new food era. Here, foodaily will have in-depth talks with innovators, pioneers, pioneers and demonstrators who promote the development of the food industry, share all the risks and evolution of innovation behind the brand, and observe the business logic in the great changes in the industry. It includes two sub columns: the great founder and the power of leaders.
Source: foodaily lingting (ID: foodaily_lingting), reprinted with authorization. Reprint authorization and media business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246);
Dialogue with Dong Hong, vice president of R & D of Mars Wrigley in China: there is no contradiction between centenary and youth
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