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Philadelphia Milka Chocolate: Failing to account for the diversity of European consumers

Philadelphia Milka Chocolate: Failing to account for the diversity of European consumers

Introduction

In spring 2011, Mondelez International launched Philadelphia Milka, a variety of chocolate-flavored cream cheese, in Italy. Despite a successful performance in some other European countries, the product failed to gain traction, and was subsequently withdrawn from the Italian market in October 2014.

Features and benefits

  • Learn about the Philadelphia-Milka product
  • Understand the launch and marketing strategy for Philadelphia Milka in Italy.
  • Analyze why the product ultimately failed in Italy but succeeded in the UK.
  • Look at what could have been done differently to give the product a greater chance of success.
Highlights
  • The co-branded marketing strategy between Mondelez's Philadelphia and Milka brands failed to establish a clear product positioning among the Italian audience. Mondelez underestimated the importance of European consumers' differing preferences and diversity of habits.
  • Capitalizing on the heritage of Italian cheese, the manufacturer could have paired the chocolate with a dairy by-product with a sweeter flavor, such as ricotta. A country-customized strategy is needed to successfully position a product in the heterogeneous European markets, especially for those countries with a strong food heritage.
Your key questions answered
  • What is Philadelphia Milka spread?
  • How was the spread launched and marketed in Italy?
  • Why was Philadelphia Milka eventually withdrawn from the Italian market?
  • What strategies and approaches could Mondelez have adopted to give Philadelphia Milka a better chance of success?


OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
HEALTHIER NUTELLA WITH MIXED PERFORMANCE IN EUROPE
Philadelphia Milka has performed variably in the European market
Philadelphia Milka seeks to offer a healthier alternative to Nutella
FAILURE CAUSED BY POOR FIT FOR ITALIAN BREAKFAST TRENDS
UK versus Italy: A clear positioning has driven a successful performance
Philadelphia Milka was a poor fit for Italian breakfast trends
A failure to develop effective targeting of snack occasions in Italy
COUNTRY-SPECIFIC APPROACH AND HEALTH FOCUS SUCCESSFUL INNOVATION STRATEGIES
Customizing an international product based on the specific European country's palate is a winning strategy
Explore opportunities in high in protein dairy by-products to position “better-for-you alternatives
Experimental Italian consumers are an open target for further innovative launches
CONCLUSIONS
Philadelphia Milka failed as a result of poor local market understanding, but future for innovative launches exists
APPENDIX
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