2018 was good to Mondelez – even if the numbers don't show it – and 2019 is off to a good start, officers of the company told the Consumer Analyst Group of New York meeting today (Feb. 19).
Like General Mills, which also presented at the first day of the financial analysts' meeting, Mondelez's sales declined every year 2014-2017. Also like General Mills, sales crept up less than 1 percent last year (to $25.9 billion). But Chairman and CEO Dirk Van de Put, holding the top jobs for just 15 months, told the analysts how well-positioned the company is to succeed in the global snacking market.
"Snacking made right" is the company's current theme, which enables the global snack powerhouse to embrace trends of better-for-you, natural, indulgent, even social responsibility.
Unit sales growth is biggest in natural and wholesome products, he said, but dollar growth is greater in indulgence.
“We have a unique combination of structural advantages and a strategic plan that positions us to lead the future of snacking,” he said. “I’m encouraged by early results as we implement our new strategy, which enabled us to meet or exceed our financial commitments in 2018.” He predicts a 3 percent sales increase in 2019.
Mondelez advantages include leadership positions in high growth categories, powerful global brands (nine brands generate 43 percent of all revenue) plus "local jewels" and a global footprint with scale across geographies.
75 percent of the company's sales are outside the U.S. A strategy of "test, learn and scale" is enabling Mondelez's 11 global innovation centers to quickly identify and capitalize on opportunities. There are 40 such "tests" already in the pipeline for 2019.