On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” Chris McGrath, Chief Sustainability Officer at Mondelēz, talks about snacks for improved wellbeing—including the ways large companies can shape the movement toward holistic eating habits. “The potential to create change is significant in helping suppliers transform supply chains and helping to help consumers cultivate better wellbeing habits,” says McGrath. “There’s a variety of things we can do to help drive change.”
Mondelēz produces popular snack foods on the market, many that are common among households in the United States and Europe. “We’re the Oreo people,” says McGrath. In leveraging this position, the company strives to create sustainable and ethical relationships with everyone involved in producing their snacks. Mondelēz establishes connections directly with farmers, trains women, and pays premium costs to farmers who are independently verified—tactics that encourage systemic change in the food system, McGrath explains.
“Just because you’re big doesn’t mean you’re smarter than anyone else…. [Mondelēz is] transparent about the challenges, the progress that we are making, and the work we have left to do,” says McGrath.
Consumers view improved wellbeing as “very holistic,” McGrath explains. The company’s mindful snacking campaign provides tools that consumers can use to adopt permanent, healthy food habits. It’s a way to address the values and goals of consumers to get closer to their foods without limiting the variety of snacks available.
“Consumers deal with this real guilt/pleasure paradox, and it is a real conundrum for them. So, we try to help them have tools and tools to teach their children,” says McGrath.
From the results of a worldwide study, McGrath explains that eating habits must leave space for consumers to indulge. In Mondelēz, foods of 200 calories or fewer make up 15 percent of company revenue—a number that the company hopes to see an increase to 20 percent globally.
“Indulgence is part of their wellbeing,” says McGrath. “It’s personal, it’s spiritual. People tell us that if they don’t have some chocolate in their life, life without chocolate would be really joyless.”