Mondelēz to invest in snack startups through newly launched SnackFutures

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Mondelēz
Pic: Mondelēz
The Oreo maker will launch an innovation hub ‘SnackFutures’ next month that will invest in snack startups through partnering with early-stage entrepreneurs.

Mondelēz expected the platform to contribute $100m to its revenue growth by 2022.

Unlocking growth opportunities

According to Tim Cofer, EVP and chief growth officer, SnackFutures aligns with one of company’s new growth strategies – “discovering and unleashing innovative ideas in snacking that will delight consumers.”

Cofer, who will lead the venture, noted the program will “capitalize on new trends, and mobilize entrepreneurial talent and technologies.

“SnackFutrues will unlock snacking growth opportunities around the world that respond to emerging trends and changing consumer preferences.”

He added, for the program’s first innovation projects, SnackFutures will seek entrepreneurs, suppliers, nutritionist, food and technology engineers and other potential partners to collaborate in three key areas: Well-being snacks and ingredients, premium snacks and ingredients, and digital platforms and capabilities.

However, different from some other CPG brands’ own venture arms that solely focus on investing in external companies, SnackFutures will also help invent new brands and businesses under Mondelēz, and reinvent its small-scale brands with “large-sale potential,”​ noted Cofer.

Mondelēz will update information on its entrepreneurial partnerships via in the near future.

Creating 13 geographic business units

Launching SnackFutures is only one of Mondelēz’s latest tactics to respond to emerging snacking trends around the world.

CEO Dirk Van de Put recently announced during the company’s Q3 earnings call that Mondelēz will create 13 global geographic business units on January 1, 2019, with each of them reporting to one of the company’s four regions: North America; Europe; Latin America; and Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA).

He noted: “This move clarifies accountabilities and we are aligning our incentive structure to drive greater ownership of local business results.

“We believe this change will enable volume-driven top line growth and absolute profit dollar growth.

“With the roll out of the new structure in the regions, we will create a more agile company that can react faster to local consumer preferences, without losing the benefits of our scale and global expertise in marketing, manufacturing and innovation,”​ added Van de Put.

Mondelēz’s Q3 2019 results

Mondelēz’s Q3 organic net revenue grew 1.2% to $6.29bn, with North America contributing $1.76bn.

Europe’s organic net revenue grew 0.2% to $2.36bn, driven by Russia’s mid-single-digit revenue growth and share gains in both chocolate biscuit, and Milka-branded chocobakery portfolio’s strong performance in Germany.

While Mondelēz’s developed markets overall declined 1.7% in net sales versus last year’s period, dropping to $3.96bn, its emerging markets grew 6% to $2.33bn.

AMEA’s net revenue particularly grew 4.6% to $1.4bn, driven by India’s and Southeast Asia’s respective high and mid-single-digit growth rates during Q3, and China’s fifth consecutive quarter of growth fueled by biscuit and e-commerce.

Categorically speaking, Mondelēz’s biscuits organic net revenue grew more than 3% year-to-date, while its chocolate business grew 3.5%, according to CFO Luca Zaramella.

However, the company’s gum and candy growth was flat in Q3, reflecting “soft but improved results in developed market,”​ said Zaramella, noting that 40% of revenue in this business gained or held share in markets like China.

Mondelēz’s revenue is expected to grow 2% for full-year 2018.

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