Mondelez International Inc. has its sights set on becoming a larger player in the mainstream and premium segments of the U.S. chocolate category, the company announced at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston this week.
Filling what the company referred to as “geographic white spaces,” Mondelez announced the major expansion will include pairing its Oreo brand with Milka, one of Europe’s iconic chocolate brands. The cross-category product has already launched in more than 20 countries. In the premium segment, Mondelez is dramatically expanding its Brittish chocolate brand Green & Blacks. The new Green & Blacks range will feature 70 percent dark chocolate in tablets as well as sharing and gift packs. The products sustainably sources cocoa through the company’s Cocoa Life program, and contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
“With our strong brands and global expertise in chocolate, we see enormous potential to grow our U.S. business and expand the category,” says Tim Cofer, chief growth officer at Mondelez. “The U.S. is the world’s largest chocolate market, valued at $14 billion. However, per capita consumption is only about half that of many developed European chocolate markets.”
Earlier this summer Mondelez approached The Hershey Company regarding a possible combination of the two companies. Mondelez announced last month it had ended discussions with the U.S. chocolate manufacturer though Hershey had already stated it wasn’t interested in an acquisition deal.