Mondelez International, Deerfield, IL, recently laid the cornerstone for construction of its new $90 million biscuit plant in Bahrain, as it seeks to tap rising demand in the Middle East and Africa for company brands such as Oreo, Ritz and TUC biscuits.
The company announced the project in October 2014. Full commercial production is scheduled to start early next year.
“Demand for our biscuits in the Middle East and Africa has been growing at double-digit rates and investing in a state-of-the-art facility in Bahrain will enable us to capitalize on this,” says Daniel Myers, Mondelez International executive vice president, integrated supply chain (pictured, right). “This new investment is part of our journey to reinvent our supply chain around the world to meet growth demands, while also reducing costs and improving productivity.”
Mondelez’s supply-chain reinvention plan is expected to deliver $3 billion in gross productivity savings, $1.5 billion in net savings and $1 billion in incremental cash during 2014 to 2016. These savings will be a primary driver of significant improvements in the company's base operating-income margin in the near term.
Myers spoke at a cornerstone ceremony for the plant in Bahrain on Jan. 19 under the patronage of Bahrain's Minister of Industry & Commerce, His Excellency Zayed R. Alzayani (pictured, center). Also attending were other Bahrain ministers, the president of Bahrain Customs, Sheikh Mohamed Al Khalifa, and the ambassador of the United States of America to Bahrain, His Excellency, William Roebuck (pictured, left).
“Having confirmed the project in October 2014, we are very pleased to see Mondelez International moving ahead quickly with construction of this multimillion-dollar facility that will make such a valuable contribution to the economy and people of Bahrain,” His Excellency Minister Alzayani told the select gathering. “We look forward to the completion of construction and full commercial operations early next year.”
The government of Bahrain has reclaimed the necessary land for construction of the new plant, which will have a total capacity of nearly 90,000 tons per year and a plot size of more than 250,000 square meters (2.7 million square feet). In the initial two- to three-year phase, the plant will operate four biscuit-manufacturing lines producing—in addition to Oreo, Ritz and belVita—Prince and TUC biscuits, as well Barni cakes. Like other state-of-the-art Mondelez plants, the facility is expandable and will help bring to life the company’s global strategy of protecting the well-being of the planet through the design and operation of growth facilities that minimize its environmental footprint.
This is Mondelez’s second major investment in Bahrain. The company has already invested more than $75 million in developing a Kraft Cheese and Tang powdered-beverage plant in Bahrain, which has been operational since 2008.