Oreo Goes Mobile as Mondelez Looks to Goose Growth

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Oreo did a pretty good job of owning the second half of the blackout-interrupted Super Bowl—at least on social media. Now the world’s leading cookie brand is making a grab for the galaxy in a playful new app exclusive to Nokia Lumia phones.

Meanwhile, continued innovation from Oreo will be crucial for its parent company Mondelez International as it attempts to reignite sales growth this year after a slightly disappointing 2012. CEO Irene Rosenfeld told analysts this week that she’s “bullish about our future. Although our top-line growth was disappointing in the back half of last year,” she said in a press release, “the quality of underlying revenue and earnings growth provides strong momentum as we enter 2013.”

Using what it calls “augmented-reality” technology, the new Oreo Skies mobile app on Lumia allows users to write messages and “attach” them to actual constellations revealed in the app. Stars then “twist open” (like an Oreo) to reveal the message to the intended recipients. Other features include “shooting stars” that dash across the screen which carry special offers, recipes or incentives.[more]

Oreo has even gone through the trouble of collecting “celestial facts” and video content in cooperation with a real expert, astrophysicist Robert Kirshner of Harvard University. (More from Kirshner in the video above.)

The Oreo Skies app demonstrates the capabilities of the Mondelez International Mobile Lab with Nokia, which is a “key component of our mobile strategy” together with the Mobile Futures startup incubator program, said Bonin Bough, vice president for global media and consumer engagement.

What Oreo Skies might do for Oreo sales is the interest of Rosenfeld after weaker-then expected sales for Mondelez in 2012, reflected in a two percent drop in net revenue. Organic sales increased by more than four percent year-to-year for the brands included in the global-snacks concern spun off from Kraft Foods last fall, but Rosenfeld is targeting organic sales growth of five percent to seven percent.

The CEO again turned to Mondelez’s strong footprint in emerging markets, which comprise more than 40 percent of the company’s sales and its “enviable portfolio” of “iconic” snack brands, as keys to long-term growth that she believes will be ignited this year. It also helps, she said at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference this week, that emerging markets are taking on more Western-style snacking habits, which will fuel Mondelez’s expansion.

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