Mondelez Looks East for Growth Opportunities: CEO
Newly created consumer giant Mondelez International sees emerging markets as its most promising avenue for growth in a challenged global economy, CEO Irene Rosenfeld told CNBC Wednesday.
Just this week, the company spun off from food manufacturer Kraft Foods Group. In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Rosenfeld said Mondelez’s “strong geographic footprint” in developing markets — particularly India and China — as the means to expansion and brand building. (Read More: Emerging Markets Key to Kraft Spin-Off’s Success.)
“We see tremendous opportunities to take a number of our global snacking platforms from one market to the next, to take routes to markets like India and China, for example, and put new products through those routes to market,” Rosenfeld said. “So the organic opportunities are our biggest single opportunities for growth.”
She also mentioned the possibility of “tack-on” acquisitions that could help Mondelez supplement its existing footprint in key markets. She cited Cadbury’s dominance in India as helping to open the door for other brands like Oreo and Tang.
“Similarly in China, we've got a footprint in Biscuit, we're able to launch products like gum on top of that,” Rosenfeld said. “In each of our key markets we have a strong starting position and then see the chance to stick our products additional categories on top of that foundation.”
The company is trying to manage the rising cost of key commodities, Rosenfeld said. Other companies have warned that surging prices for corn, wheat, and other products could force them to pass those costs on to consumers.
“We're going to continue to see inflation in the low to mid-single digits. Some things are going up…[and] other commodities are going down,” Rosenfeld said. “The key for us is to ensure we're investing in our brands that as commodities go up, we are in a position to be able to price away those cost increases.”
Earlier this week, a Barron’s article said Mondelez would be a better bet for investors than the legacy company it was leaving behind.