Mondelez International, owner of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate, is out with a new strategic plan that has been the brain child of new CEO Dirk Van de Put.
The company is turning its attention to accelerating sales growth, having previously been focused on such things as divesting itself of Kraft Foods (2012), cost cuts and margin expansion. Van de Put has plans to spend more on sales and marketing (very good – see earlier comments about legendary brand support in previous posts), as well as spending more on distribution and logistics. They also plan to continue to seek and support local favorites such as the Czech biscuit Opavia. All sounds good. The fly in the ointment (so-to-speak) appears to be that the company has not developed “healthy snack options” and the market (that is, Wall Street) sees that as a “gaping hole” in its portfolio. However, Mondelez, as opposed to other confectionary companies, such as Hershey, is helped by its continuing presence in emerging markets where sugar is still king and so-called “health concerns” are nil. Wall Street sees a potential problem on the horizon, related to emerging markets having undergone a slowing of growth in recent months. While the market shudders at the possibilities for Mondelez, and the WSJ, characteristically pessimistic, posted an article, “Mondelez Makes a Muddle of Its Own Growth Strategy,” I would tend to disagree with the whole lot of them. Thus, I would say that if Mondelez and Van de Put stick to their guns and continue to put more money into shoring up their legendary brands, through better marketing and an ancillary sales push, then, from my long experience of working with international companies, I would say that the future looks very bright, indeed, for Mondelez. And, who’s to say that the “sugar scourge” will last forever? It’s possible that there will come to be more reasoned thinkers in the U.S. – and not just those who blindly follow what the “luminaries” tell them to do. I’ve not eschewed having a daily hot fudge sundae. And I also enjoy regular chocolate bars (chocolate is particularly good for the human system), and certainly find it pleasant to snack on Oreo cookies – the thin ones are particularly nice for an afternoon snack. So, I’ll close this off so that we can all go off and find ourselves a chocolate bar or some Oreos – here’s to Mondelez’ good health!