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Cadbury Brunch Bar Choc Chip

Sales at Cadbury owner Mondelez International have taken another leap higher this year as the consumer snacking boom continued.

Shoppers around the world have stocked up their cupboards with trusted biscuits and confectionery brands while stuck at home as coronavirus lockdowns persist.

Mondelez net revenues in the first quarter of 2021 jumped 7.9% to $7.2bn, with shoppers in Europe and Asia buying more of its brands, including the likes of Oreo, Belvita, Milka and Toblerone.

It comes as the Cadbury brand was once again revealed to be the UK’s biggest grocery brand, selling an extra 71.7 million chocolate bars, biscuits, ice creams and cakes in 2020 to locked-down Brits, according to the latest Britain’s Biggest Brands survey by The Grocer.

The US-headquartered group registered organic growth of 3.8% in the first three months of 2021, thanks to shifting more volume and also pushing through higher prices, while it also benefitted from favourable currency tailwinds and acquisitions made in the US, including premium chocolate maker Hu and sweet baked goods business Give & Go.

Mondelez remained active in the M&A market at the end of the quarter, snapping up UK-based sports nutrition brand Grenade for £200m as it seeks to diversify its portfolio and increase exposure to the healthier snacking market.

CEO Dirk Van de Put said Mondelez was emerging from the Covid pandemic in a stronger position as it built on a track record of “robust” growth, profitability and cash generation.

“We saw continued improvement across emerging markets, healthy demand in developed markets and another quarter of strong share performance,” he added.

“We remain squarely focused on accelerating growth by further strengthening our core brand and expanding our presence in high-growth channels, categories and adjacencies. Our strategy is working, and our business is better positioned than ever before.”

Adjusted operating profits in the first quarter rose 16.8% to $1.3bn on the back of increased revenues and lower overheads.

Carmen Bryan, a consumer analyst for GlobalData, said Mondelez should see sustained growth thanks to “smart” acquisitions targeting health-conscious consumers.

She added: “By tapping into this ‘better-for-you’ positioning – not only in terms of health but also ethics, sustainability and social responsibilities – Mondelez will be able to deliver sustained growth over the coming years: even as lockdowns lift and home consumption trends begin to subside. After all, consumers want to see brands that embody their needs and values.”

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