Mondelez International, Inc. (//), often stylized as Mondelēz, is an American multinational confectionery, food, holding and beverage and snack food company based in Chicago, Illinois. Mondelez has an annual revenue of about $26 billion and operates in approximately 160 countries. It ranked No. 117 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
|Predecessor||Kraft Foods Inc.|
|Founded||December 10, 1923 (original company)|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
October 1, 2012 (current form)
|Founder||Thomas H. McInnerney|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
|Dirk Van de Put (Chairman|
|Products||Baby food, coffee, dairy products, breakfast cereals, confectionery, bottled water, ice cream, pet foods|
|Revenue||US$25.87 billion (2019)|
|US$3.843 billion (2019)|
|US$3.87 billion (2019)|
|Total assets||US$64.55 billion (2019)|
|Total equity||US$27.275 billion (2019)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
The company has its origins as Kraft Foods which was founded in 1923 in Chicago. The present enterprise, was established in 2012 when Kraft spun-off the grocery, and snack food businesses, with the latter adopting the name, Mondelez, as proposed by its employees. The name is derived from the Latin word mundus ("world") and delez, a fanciful modification of the word "delicious."
The Mondelez International company manufactures chocolate, cookies, biscuits, gum, confectionery, and powdered beverages. Mondelez International's portfolio includes several billion-dollar components. These components includes cookie and cracker brands Belvita, Chips Ahoy!, Oreo, Ritz, TUC, Triscuit, LU, Club Social, Sour Patch Kids, Barny, and Peek Freans; chocolate brands Milka, Côte d'Or, Toblerone, Cadbury, Green & Black's, Freia, Marabou, Fry's, and Lacta; gum and cough drop brands Trident, Dentyne, Chiclets, Halls, and Stride; as well as Jell-O, Tate's Bake Shop and powdered beverage brand Tang.
Mondelez Canada holds the rights to Christie Brown and Company, which consists of brands such as Mr. Christie, Triscuits and Dad's Cookies. Its head office is in Mississauga, Ontario, with operations in Toronto, Hamilton, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec.
Before Mondelez International
Mondelez International is rooted in the National Dairy Products Corporation (National Dairy), which was founded on December 10, 1923, by Thomas H. McInnerney and Edward E. Rieck. The firm was initially set up to execute on a rollup strategy in the fragmented United States ice cream industry.
In 1924, Kraft Cheese Company was founded and was listed on the Chicago Stock Exchange. Two years later, it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1928, it acquired Phenix Cheese Company, the maker of a cream cheese branded as Philadelphia cream cheese, founded by Jason F. Whitney Sr. and the company changed its name to Kraft-Phenix Cheese Company.
In 1930, National Dairy acquired Kraft Phenix. After the acquisition, the combined company retained the National Dairy name and management, though the Kraft Phenix side of the company continued to operate largely independently.
On September 7, 2009, Kraft made a hostile £10.2 billion takeover bid for the British confectionery group Cadbury, makers of Dairy Milk and Bournville chocolate. On November 9 the company's bid (then £9.8 billion) was rejected by Cadbury, which called it a "derisory" offer. Kraft renewed the offer on December 4. It had significant political and public opposition in the United Kingdom and abroad, leading to a call for the government to implement economic protectionism in large-company takeovers. On January 19, 2010, Cadbury approved a revised offer from Kraft which valued the company at £11.5 billion ($19.5 billion). Some funds for the takeover were provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the partially state-owned British bank.
Cadbury sales were flat after Kraft's acquisition. Despite the Cadbury takeover helping to boost overall sales by 30 percent, Kraft's net profit for the fourth quarter fell 24 percent (to $540 million) due to costs associated with integrating the UK business after the acquisition. Kraft spent $1.3 billion on integration to achieve an estimated $675 million in annual savings by the end of 2012. Kraft increased prices to offset rising commodity costs for corn, sugar, and cocoa in North America and Europe. According to Rosenfeld, "We expect it will remain weak for the foreseeable future." Taking into account integration costs, the acquisition reduced Kraft's earnings per share by about 33% immediately after the Cadbury purchase.
The snack-food company, called Mondelez International, would be the legal successor of the old Kraft Foods, while the grocery company would be a new company, Kraft Foods Group. The split was completed in October 2012. It was structured so that Kraft Foods changed its name to Mondelez International and spun off Kraft Foods Group as a new publicly traded company. Kraft Foods Group later merged with Heinz to become Kraft Heinz.
In 2014, the company announced a merger of its coffee business with the Dutch firm Douwe Egberts. The name of the newly-merged company would be Jacobs Douwe Egberts. The merger was confirmed on May 6, 2014, and completed on July 2, 2015.
On June 30, 2016, Mondelez made a $23 billion offer to buy its smaller rival, Hershey. The half-cash, half-stock deal valued Hershey stock at $107 a share. Hershey's board, however, unanimously rejected the offer.
For the fiscal year 2017, Mondelēz International reported earnings of US$2.922 billion, with an annual revenue of US$25.896 billion, a decline of 0.1% over the previous fiscal cycle. Mondelēz International's shares traded at over $42 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$58.8 billion in October 2018. In the first quarter of 2020, due to COVID-19 lockdowns and people stocking up with sweets, the company's sales grew by 15% in North America, increasing its overall revenue by almost 3%.
In September 2017, an investigation conducted by NGO Mighty Earth found that a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by Mondelez and other major chocolate companies was grown illegally in national parks and other protected areas in Ivory Coast and Ghana. The countries are the world's two largest cocoa producers.
The report documents how in several national parks and other protected areas, 90% or more of the land mass has been converted to cocoa. Less than four percent of Ivory Coast remains densely forested, and the chocolate companies' laissez-faire approach to sourcing has driven extensive deforestation in Ghana as well. In Ivory Coast, deforestation has pushed chimpanzees into just a few small pockets, and reduced the country's elephant population from several hundred thousand to about 200–400.
Wheat futures price-fixing allegation
In April 2015, the US Commodity and Futures Commission (CTFC) alleged that Mondelez International and its former subsidiary, Mondelez Global, bought $90 million (£61 million) of wheat futures with no intention of taking delivery. According to the CTFC, the purchase raised the price of the commodity and earned the company $5.4 million.
In 2021, Mondelez International was named in a class action lawsuit filed by eight former child slaves from Mali who allege that the company aided and abetted their enslavement on cocoa plantations in Ivory Coast. The suit accused Mondelez (along with Nestlé, Cargill, Mars, Olam International, The Hershey Company, and Barry Callebaut) of knowingly engaging in forced labor, and the plaintiffs sought damages for unjust enrichment, negligent supervision, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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- Business data for Mondelez International:
- New York Times article about Mondelez name and rebranding