Future of snacking: Mondelēz launches new hub to keep pace with snacking trends

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31 Oct 2018 --- Mondelēz International will launch an innovation hub called SnackFutures to capitalize on changing consumer trends and emerging growth opportunities in snacking, one of the fastest growing food categories. With a focus on keeping pace with shifting preferences of shoppers, the hub will be structured to bring together internal talent, an ecosystem of external partnerships and dedicated funding. 

This will be across three integrated mandates: Invention of new brands and businesses in key strategic areas; the reinvention of small-scale Mondelēz brands with large-scale potential, and venturing with start-up entrepreneurs to seed new businesses.

Mondelēz International is targeting SnackFutures to contribute US$100 million to revenue growth by 2022.

A part of the growth strategy is the addition of healthier snack options. This comes at a time when consumers are ditching boxed and canned products in favor of healthier options, fresh food and niche brands. This is particularly the case for younger consumers.

Mondelēz recently unveiled its new tagline, “snacking made right” which builds on the snacking giant's pledge to offer consumers “the right snack, for the right moment, made the right way.”

“Discovering and unleashing innovative ideas in snacking that will delight consumers and drive growth is a key element of our new strategy,” says Tim Cofer, Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer of Mondelēz International. 

“We are launching SnackFutures, a new forward-thinking innovation hub, to capitalize on new trends, and mobilize entrepreneurial talent and technologies to build and grow small brands with large-scale potential. SnackFutures will unlock snacking growth opportunities around the world that respond to emerging trends and changing consumer preferences.”

SnackFutures will officially launch next month with a cross-functional team of leaders, led by Cofer, with targeted expertise in brand marketing, consumer insights, research and development, innovation and corporate development. 

SnackFutures is seeking creative, entrepreneurial individuals and partners with great snacking-related ideas or capabilities to join them in this endeavor. For the program’s initial innovation projects, SnackFutures will seek entrepreneurs, suppliers, nutritionists, food and technology engineers and other potential partners to collaborate on opportunities in three key strategic areas:

  • Well-being snacks and ingredients.
  • Premium snacks and ingredients.
  • Digital platforms and capabilities.

Mondelēz Q3 results
The SnackFutures launch comes as Mondelēz published its third-quarter results which show that net revenues declined 3.7 percent driven by currency. Organic net revenue grew 1.2 percent, which includes 60 basis points of headwinds for malware effects in the prior year. 

The operating income margin was 11.7 percent, down 620 basis points and the Adjusted Operating Income margin was 17.1 percent, up 40 basis points. Diluted EPS was US$0.81, up 27 percent and adjusted EPS1 was US$0.62, up 18 percent on a constant-currency basis.

The company returned approximately US$800 million to shareholders in common stock repurchases and cash dividends. Year to date, the company has returned approximately US$2.6 billion to shareholders.

“We performed well in the third quarter,” says Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO. “We continue to see good momentum in emerging markets, underpinned by solid volume growth and strong execution. We are beginning to deliver against our new long-term growth strategy by implementing a more agile innovation model and establishing a new commercial structure that will improve our consumer focus and drive greater local accountability while igniting our global and local brand and innovation agendas.”

The company now expects full-year 2018 organic net revenue growth to be approximately 2 percent.

In the same week, Mondelēz also announced that Vinzenz Gruber is to become EVP and President, Europe, following the retirement of Hubert Weber on January 31.

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