CHICAGO — Mondelez International, Inc., spent a combined $4.2 billion to acquire Clif Bar and Co., Emeryville, Calif., and the Ricolino confectionery business from Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV, Mexico City, Mexico, in 2022. After a period of integration, the company is now preparing to reap the benefits of its investments.
The snack maker took control of Clif Bar in August and one of its first actions was to raise prices, which was not normal for the company, said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and chief executive officer of Mondelez.
“(We did) two pricing actions last year, and we've seen minimal volume elasticity,” he said during a Jan. 31 conference call to discuss Mondelez’s fiscal 2022 results. Other actions taken include prioritizing Clif Bar stock-keeping units and improving the business’ supply chain.
Looking ahead, Mr. Van de Put sees an opportunity to grow Mondelez’s position in the protein and energy bar space in the United States and Europe.
“We think that Clif has a huge opportunity for expansion, better distribution (in the US), and we are going to complement that with the international opportunity,” he said.
A key aspect of the Ricolino acquisition is it allows Mondelez to enter the chocolate market in Mexico and reinforce its biscuit business in the country.
“One of the biggest benefits is that we can triple our route to markets, which is going to add a significant amount of stores (in Mexico),” Mr. Van de Put said. “We will be present in 440,000+ stores. And they also have a good growth US business, which we are planning to give a boost through our US organization, particularly … in the US Hispanic market.”
Luca Zaramella, chief financial officer at Mondelez, said the Ricolino business has sales between $600 million and $700 million and it is growing at a double-digit rate.“Ricolino will step change materially the profitability of Mexico,” he said. “And I think, particularly in route to market and cost synergies, there is a big benefit to come.”