Mondelēz names 2017 ‘Year of Well-being and Innovation’ with launch of Véa snacks

Mondelēz views the launch of its new savory biscuit brand, Véa, will drive the company's growth to become the global leader in well-being snacks. Pic:Mondelēz

Mondelēz has added savory biscuit brand Véa to its portfolio, targeted at today’s health-conscious millennials.

The brand includes crunch bars, crisps and seed crackers.

They contain no artificial ingredients, trans fats, colors or flavors and are Non-GMO Project Verified.

The biscuits borrow flavors from around the world, including Thai Coconut, Tuscan Herbs, Peruvian Sweet Potato and Greek Hummus.

No. 1 in well-being snacks

According to Mondelēz chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld, the new snacks will be a key pillar in the company’s goal to become the global leader in well-being snacks.

“The biggest power shift for a company like ours is the rapid growth of the well-being trend.

“People everywhere have become more attentive to health and their food choices and they’re not just playing lip service to these ideas, they’re voting with their feet,” she told the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) at its investment conference held in Florida yesterday, where the snacks were launched.

She added that snacking is a $1.2 trillion market and is highly correlated to GDP.

“As GDP rises, so does per capita consumption of snacks,” she said, stating that “although emerging markets have been hit particularly hard by global macro headwinds, they continue to grow at a faster pace than developed markets.”

Power brands

Tim Cofer, chief growth officer, Mondelēz, confirmed that well-being is a significant growth opportunity for the company, in both developed and emerging markets.

“In fact, 2017 will be our biggest year ever in the well-being space with unprecedented innovation and renovation of our portfolio,” he said.

In 2014, Mondelēz said it hoped 25% of its revenues would come from ‘better choices’ products by 2020.

"Véa truly underscores the best of our growth capabilities, including breakthrough product and packaging innovation, real-time data analytics, comprehensive distribution across multiple growth channels and fearless digital marketing," Cofer told CAGNY.

The Ritz cracker maker has positioned Véa in its group of “power brands” that includes Oreo cookies and Cadbury Dairy Milk.

"Our strategy to distort investment behind our power brands – which represent nearly 70% of our global revenues – is paying off,” said Cofer.

“In 2016, these brands grew organic net revenue at twice the rate of the company overall and continue to outpace category growth."

Véa will be rolled out in the US and Canada by July, and later will be expanded to other global markets.

E-commerce snacking

During the CAGNY presentation, Rosenfeld said Mondelēz is focusing on making its brands accessible to consumers whenever and wherever they shop.

“E-commerce is the fastest growing channel in the marketplace,” she said, noting the company’s extensive investment in online capabilities and infrastructure, as well as enhancing its online product assortment.

Last year, Mondelēz’ e-commerce net revenues grew more than 35%, twice as fast as the rate of the industry, reported the company.

Takeover speculation

Meanwhile, there is much speculation the Deerfield-based company could be a takeover target.

When Kraft Heinz withdrew its $143bn bid for European firm Unilever, it sparked suggestions that the Planters nuts producer could turn its attention to Mondelēz, among other companies.

At CAGNY, Rosenfeld did hint that more changes, including possible acquisitions, could be coming in the year ahead for the $26bn company.

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