Irene Rosenfeld, Mondelez

Health shift a highlight

Other highlights at Mondelez include growth of wellness brands, the company’s expanding e-commerce presence and penetration into new channels such as convenience stores in the United States.

“In the well-being space, we’re pleased with the ongoing strength of belVita biscuits, up mid-single digits globally, as well as with the strong launch of Ritz Crisp & Thins in the U.S. and the continued strength of Good Thins crackers,” Ms. Rosenfeld said. “The accelerating growth of well-being products is one of the biggest shifts facing our industry, and we’re addressing this with urgency.

Vea snacks, Mondelez
Véa is Mondelez's new brand of wholesome savory crackers made with no artificial ingredients, colors or flavors.

“As we enter the back half of 2017, we have an unprecedented pipeline of innovation, including new items like Véa as well as renovation of existing products like Triscuit. In addition, we’re actively filling geographic white spaces. In the U.S., our Milka Oreo chocolate bars are off to a strong start as we ramp up to full distribution. In China, Milka chocolate continues to build strong brand awareness and trial. In fact, in Q1, Milka achieved a 2.4% market share, and brand awareness reached 40%. In Q2, we’ll continue our investment in innovation and white spaces, setting the stage for a strong back half.”

E-commerce sales at Mondelez rose 30% in the first quarter, boosted by partnerships with such e-tailers as Alibaba and Amazon, both of which are expanding into new markets, Ms. Rosenfeld said.

Mondelez’s hard push into convenience stores has been helped by “on-the-go” products such as belVita, she said. Smaller packs of the company’s top brands are “tailor-made” for this channel, she added.

Mondelez E-Commerce
E-commerce sales at Mondelez rose 30% in the first quarter.

Success in the company’s efforts to move into new distribution channels entails more than just calling on additional customers.

“Our investments in flexible packaging capabilities with our Lines of the Future are now enabling much broader price-pack architecture across our key categories,” Ms. Rosenfeld said. “For example, our new Ritz lines can now flex to produce from 2 to 18 slugs in one package and from 10 to 40 crackers per slug, with minimal changeover waste. This capability enables us to play in new channels and new occasions at competitive margins.”