Mondelez International is the global snack conglomerate behind some of the most ubiquitous grocery-store snacks: Chips Ahoy, Cadbury, Oreo, Nutter Butter, Sour Patch Kids, Tate’s Bake Shop, etc. Its best-known products fit squarely in the comfort-food zone, the type of crinkle-sleeved sugar-carb hybrids we reach to when we need a sweet treat or 15.
But the company is making a shift. Per this Wall Street Journal article, Mondelez is in the midst of a huge push toward “mindful snacking,” a subset of mindful eating, the idea that we should be more thoughtful and present while we eat. Some have touted this as a strategy to encourage people to eat healthier: If we’re more conscious of what we’re eating, we might actually eat the proper serving size instead of the whole package.
As part of this overall focus, the company has pledged to include tips for mindful snacking on all packaging by 2025. There’s already a .PDF about mindful snacking on the company’s website, which suggests portioning your snacks, turning off the TV while eating, chewing slowly, and smelling and tasting each bite fully—hardly any of which I’ve ever done while eating Oreos. The benefits of mindful snacking touted by Mondelez include “a positive relationship with food” and “more satisfying snack moments.” The WSJ also notes Mondelez hired meditation and mindful eating coaches to train its employees on these principles, which sounds like it would be a pretty sweet gig.
But won’t this type of portion control potentially lead consumers to buy fewer packages of Nutter Butters? No, an executive tells the paper; many people feel so guilty about snacking that they avoid buying these products, period. “So some consumers will say ‘I can’t even bring them into the house because I can’t control myself.’” Any move that encourages people to feel less guilty about what they eat sounds like a win in our book, even if that means we curtail our cookie consumption slightly.