Mondelēz’s snack bar biz tips $1bn with Clif Bar & Company acquisition

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Clif Bar's ontrend best-sellers join Mondelēz's burgeoning product portfolio, tipping its value over $1 billion. Pic: Clif Bar
Clif Bar's ontrend best-sellers join Mondelēz's burgeoning product portfolio, tipping its value over $1 billion. Pic: Clif Bar

Related tags Mondelez International Clif Bar & Company

The Oreo, belVita and Lus biscuit producer has agreed to acquire organic energy bar maker Clif Bar & Company for $2.9bn, which will expand its global snack bar business to more than $1bn.

Clif Bar’s acquisition marks the ninth deal since 2018 as Mondelēz works towards reshaping its portfolio for higher long-term growth and prioritising fast-growing snacking segments in key geographies.

So far in 2022, the snacking giant has announced an agreement to acquire Mexican confectionery company Ricolino from Grupo Bimbo and closed on its acquisition of European snack cake and pastry producer Chipita SA. This followed a year of strong global snacking growth in 2021, including the acquisitions of UK performance nutrition company Grenade; Ozzi biscuit and cracker creator Gourmet Food Holdings; and US wellbeing snack producer Hu.

Snack right

“This transaction further advances our ambition to lead the future of snacking by winning in chocolate, biscuits and baked snacks as we continue to scale our high-growth snack bar business,”​ said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International.

“As a leader and innovator in wellbeing and sustainable snacking in the US, Clif Bar & Company embodies our purpose to ‘empower people to snack right’ and we look forward to advancing this important work with Clif’s committed colleagues in the years ahead.”

Like many others, Mondelēz flagged a hit to its annual profit due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which has sparked wheat, oil and energy prices. This on top of COVID’s legacy of global supply-chain snarls, higher freight costs and labour shortages has made the landscape more challenging than ever before.

As such, Mondelēz expects organic net revenue to increase over 4% in 2022, while its long-term growth target is of more than 3%.

The Clif Bar transaction is expected to be top-line accretive in year two, and also create cost synergies by using Mondelēz’s global scale to expand Clif’s distribution and gain further penetration in new channels in the US.

Right partner at the right time

“Our purposes and cultures are aligned and being part of a global snacking company with broad product offerings can help us accelerate our growth while staying true to our deeply ingrained Five Aspirations – sustaining our people, planet, community, business and brands: Five bottom lines that have grounded our company since its founding and will remain our North Star going forward,”​ said Sally Grimes, CEO of Clif Bar.

Mondelēz will operate Clif Bar from its headquarters in Emeryville, California, and will retain the brand’s ethos and authenticity, manufacturing the ontrend brands Clif, Luna and Clif Kid at its factories in Twin Falls, Idaho, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

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