The director of e-commerce for Mondelez International has suggested that convenience cannot explain the rapid growth in the online purchasing of FMCG brands in China and elsewhere in Asia, and that the habitual use of smartphones by millennials is what is driving the trend.
Ganesh Kashyap, GM and director of e-commerce for Mondelez International in Asia Pacific, said that as millennials become mothers, they are taking their purchasing behaviour into categories that until recently have been relatively untouched by e-commerce.
“Until recently our food had been untouched by digital behaviour. They continued to be bought in supermarkets and mum and pop stores. That is changing,” he said.
“Millennial shoppers are now starting families of their own, and online shopping is multiplying. But why is this happening in food and beverage? It’s not a function of time. The answer lies in the relationship millennials have with their smartphones. It’s a smartphone addiction,” he said.
Kashyap pointed to research the company did in Shanghai into middle class families that found that young mothers were placing all of their orders for food “and everything else” online.
Referring to a conversation he had with a young Shanghainese stay-at-home mother of two children, he said “This young lady, from the time she gets up, to the time she goes to sleep, is connected to her smartphone. So it’s only natural that the last bastion of her life, food shopping, also shifts online.”
“Chinese consumers online are looking for new and distinct experiences. And they’re demanding that these experiences are personalized,” he said.