Mondelez sponsors 'Surfacing' journalism residency at The New York Times
- Mondelez's Véa, a trendy brand of snack bars and crackers made without GMOs or artificial ingredients, is sponsoring a journalism residency program at The New York Times, according to a company statement. The residency is for emerging journalists and will be called "Surfacing."
- The project's first stories are scheduled to appear in December in the newspaper's Travel section and, in addition to the print format, will use social media channels such as Instagram and Snapchat to focus on food, culture and travel content from "undiscovered and offbeat communities."
- The Times' T Brand Studio will augment the series of stories by creating six films highlighting individual ingredients used in the various snacks within the Véa portfolio, including sweet potato, coconut, quinoa and sunflower seeds, the Mondelez statement said.
This partnership is a one-of-a-kind way to market Mondelez's new millennial-focused Véa brand, which just hit stores this past July. Besides encouraging sales, the company is obviously trying to associate its clean-label snack brand with excitement and adventure — an approach millennials in particular are likely to appreciate.
Mondelez is also appealing to healthier snacking, another thing millennials favor. According to Packaged Facts, demand for healthy snacks has been growing during the past five years. The segment's CAGR has risen 4.7%, outpacing overall food and beverage sales growth.
This on-trend product development and the marketing push could be seen as a sign that Mondelez is trying to buff itself up for potential acquisition. Even if that’s not the mindset now, bringing a product to market that is aimed at millennials — one of the most important shopper bases today — is a smart decision. Last year, millennials surpassed baby boomers as the country's most populous living generation, at more than 75 million strong.
The New York Times undoubtedly would like to bolster readership among younger generations, who are known to prefer digital news sources. And Mondelez has already shown marketing savvy by engaging in other media collaborations, including Mic's "Road Trip Diaries" series and INSIDER's "Find Your Way to Real" campaign, with each running a Facebook video series.
This arrangement could be mutually beneficial as Mondelez gets well-crafted stories and video linked to its trendy snack brand, and The New York Times gets to appear more modern to a younger demographic. We should know a lot more about the potential of this partnership when the first stories in the "Surfacing" series start showing up in December.