Mars Inc Partners With Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) To Penetrate The Chinese Market


Mars Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) are set for a possible partnership. Being the world’s largest online and mobile e-commerce company that it is, Alibaba will embrace all the 17 brands that Mars sells and promote their presence in China. The well-known products from Mars the likes of Dove chocolate, Pedigree, Royal Canin pet foods, M&M’s, Snickers bars and other products will now be available on Alibaba’s online marketplaces and Rural Taobao.

While Rural Taobao is relatively a new platform, it is expected that it will create online shopping interest to China’s 600 million rural citizens. China’s e-commerce market is already having an accumulation of up of 550 million consumers.

In the recent past e-commerce has become an important sales channel. Besides, there is an aggressive demand for online business by retailers in China given the increasing number of food and beverage brands. Kantar Health, a market intelligence firm says that there is a dramatic growth of sales in fast-moving consumer goods. The growth has risen from the 34% to 2013-2014 to 37% last year.

According to Cecilia Li, Wrigley China Vice President, and Managing Director, the younger generation has played a very active role towards this growth. They have more reliance on e-commerce. Li further acknowledges the agreement with Alibaba terming it as very strategic. It will not only be convenient for consumers, but it will also give them an international ‘one-stop’ shopping experience.

Many foreign companies are increasingly turning to Alibaba for a partnership to strengthen the sale of their brands. Among those who have won agreements with Alibaba are Mondelēz International and Nestle. Others that are using Alibaba’s to build their brands in China include Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL), Hershey’s and Germany’s Metro Group.

Speaking about the partnerships, Alibaba Group Vice President Jet Jing says that their motive is to support for brand building, product innovation that will eventually lead to channel expansion and better customer management.

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