Earlier this week, Mondelēz International, one of the world’s largest snack companies and owner of household staples like Chips Ahoy!, Cadbury, and Oreo, announced two new Oreo flavors just for China: Hot Chicken Wing and Wasabi.
Mondelēz released the new products with two videos on Weibo (aka Chinese Twitter) to accompany the flavors.
The wasabi video features a young man meticulously deconstructing a Wasabi Oreo to use in a Oreo-crusted onigiri that’s stuffed with egg, eel, and wasabi-flavored Oreo cream filling. He then feeds this creation to his lady friend.
The hot chicken wing video takes a more meta approach, featuring a young man crushing the Hot Chicken Wing Oreos and using the crumbs as a deep-fried crust for actual hot chicken wings. He then serves this chicken-on-chicken creation to his friends.
People online were quick to respond with their own renditions, concocting all types of creative scenarios in which they could make use of the new flavors, including making salmon tapenades, octopus Oreo sandwiches, and fried chicken platters.
Goldthread contacted Mondelēz to ask about how the company chose these particular flavors to release. The company said its market research indicated that young people in China wanted more savory and spicy flavored snacks, with spicy flavors having “an extremely big potential” in China’s snack industry.
Spicy flavors have 'an extremely big potential' in China’s snack industry.
China’s overall market potential for fast food and processed products is huge and is especially catered to young people. Compared to the U.S., China has nearly five times as many millennials, and that’s looking at just millennials. The country also has the second largest savory snack market in the world, valued at just over $10 billion. An industry report projects that the savory snack market could be worth over $18 billion in three years.
The explosion in snacks and processed food product industry come as childhood obesity rates rise in China. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that China already has the world’s largest population of obese children, with India coming in second.
Despite the growing population of obese children, companies are dedicated to innovating China’s snack industry. Currently, Wasabi and Hot Chicken Wing Oreos are sold exclusively in China and the company has no plans to sell in other countries. Mondelēz also has new flavors of Oreos in store for the coming months for China’s market.