Headquarters: Deerfield, IL
2016 Sales: $25.9 billion
2015 Sales: $29.6 billion
In snack food and bakery, Mondelēz International has a strong focus on cookies and crackers via iconic brands like Oreo, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butter, Ritz, Triscuit and Wheat Thins, among others. But growth has slowed in the U.S. (while internationally, the company has fared much better).
According to IRI, Chicago, Mondelēz dropped 2.75 percent in dollar sales to $1.6 billion for the 52 weeks ending September 10, 2017. While Ritz was up 3.71 percent to $512.5 million, Triscuit declined 6.36 percent to $326.4 million and Wheat Thins dropped 7.52 percent to $295.7 million.
Its cookie business told a similar tale of mixed upward and downward trends. For the 52 weeks ending April 16, 2017, the company’s cookie business was off 1.15 percent to $3.1 billion. Oreo dropped 7.39 percent to $705.8 million, but Chips Ahoy grew 2.05 percent to $654.8 million. One bright spot was the relatively new Oreo Thins line, which saw gains of 76.96 percent to $127.0 million. Nutter Butter sees a slightly lower sales volume, but was up 1.54 percent to $120.8 million.
The Enjoy Life Foods business is an area of growth for Mondelēz. Enjoy Life Foods—Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery’s 2017 “Bakery of the Year”—is the leading globally distributed allergen-free snack and bakery brand. All indications point to continued strong growth of the allergen-free snack and bakery market, and Enjoy Life Foods is strongly positioned to capitalize on that momentum.
Brand acquisition is one prominent pathway toward growth, and Mondelēz made a failed $23 billion cash-and-stock offer bid for Hershey Co. in 2016. While that gambit didn’t pay off, Mondelēz could find success through acquisition of smaller snack and bakery brands that have displayed strong incremental growth—particularly better-for-you brands positioned for continued growth. Mondelēz has selected Dirk Van de Put, former president and CEO of McCain Foods, to succeed Irene Rosenfeld as CEO and chairman of the board, and this move has lent some renewed momentum to projected growth in the coming year for the company.