DEERFIELD, ILL. — Although the company’s gum and candy business has struggled year-to-date, Mondel?z International, Inc. has encountered no such issues within its biscuits business, said Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer.
Speaking to analysts on Nov. 7 in connection with the company’s release of third-quarter financials, Ms. Rosenfeld said biscuit revenue in the first nine months of fiscal 2012 increased 7% behind growth in both developed and developing markets. In North America, biscuits sales increased mid-single digits, and in Europe sales also have been strong. Meanwhile, biscuit sales grew low-double digits in developing markets, led by China, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.
“Our biscuits’ power brands rose 13% year-to-date with Oreo continuing to grow in the mid-teens,” Ms. Rosenfeld said. “Our belVita innovation platform has been another star, up more than 45% this year as we expand across markets in Europe and the Americas. In fact, belVita is on track to exceed $300 million in revenue this year.”
In North America, cookies grew mid- to high-single digits, with strong growth in Oreo and Chips Ahoy!, while crackers were up mid-single digits with strong growth from Honey Maid, Ritz and Triscuit, said Dave Brearton, executive vice-president and chief financial officer.“Biscuits’ improved performance and market share gains (in the United States) are a direct result of the realignment of our U.S. sales force in April,” he said. “We’re now realizing the benefits of a direct-store delivery system that’s focused solely on biscuits. For example, we’ve increased feature and display conversion opportunities, with displays up 5% year to date. And we’ve gained additional facings on existing products, as well as drove new products into stores more quickly.”