Mondelēz bolsters US supply chain operations with US$122.5m in Richmond facility

USA – American multinational confectionery and snack food company Mondelēz International is bolstering its US supply chain capability with a US$$122.5 million in its facility in Richmond, Virginia. 

The snack giant’s planned investment includes a 68,000-square-foot expansion of its Richmond Biscuit Bakery to support expanded manufacturing operations. 

The new site will also house a high-speed production line for the company’s brand of creme-filled sandwich cookie, Oreo. 

Mondelēz will also be establishing a new sales fulfillment center to support sales and distribution in the US. 

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The expanded facility is scheduled to open in 2022, creating approximately 80 new jobs in Henrico County. 

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam commented: “Mondelēz International’s long-term investment in central Virginia is a testament to the region’s top-notch talent and strong business climate. 

We thank Mondelēz for its long-term partnership and we look forward to its continued success here in the Commonwealth.” 

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the Henrico Economic Development Authority to secure this investment for Virginia. 

The site expansion plans come after Mondelēz announced that it is introducing Oreo Thins Extra Stuf cookies, featuring crispy chocolate wafers with nearly double the crème sandwiched inside original Oreo Thins.

The new item will become a permanent addition to the Oreo portfolio, rolling out nationwide early next year.  

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The company is positioning the product as an “adult-friendly option for everyone who loves the crisp snap of Oreo Thins wafers but desires a bit more crème for extra enjoyment.” 

Online sales surge 

Earlier, Mondelez International Inc. said the online retail trend will continue to grow even after mobility restrictions are lifted, as people have become accustomed to using their digital devices to shop for food.  

Consumers who were stuck at home became savvier at using e-commerce channels to satisfy their snack cravings, which were a source of comfort as well as a “lifeline during the pandemic,” said Maurizio Brusadelli, executive vice president and president of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. 

E-commerce sales for Mondelez – which produces Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and Cadbury chocolate — jumped by about 30% so far this year in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and even more in some places, he said in an interview.  

In China, e-commerce comprised 20% of total sales, helped by partnerships including with TikTok and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which gave consumers wider online access to its products. 

Growth in digital sales is expected to continue at these levels, even as the pandemic wanes, as customers have shifted toward at-home consumption, he said. 

Mondelez eyes South Africa’s AVI 

Mondelez International is weighing a bid for South African food and beverage company AVI, a deal that would help the US multinational extend its presence in Africa, Bloomberg has reported citing people familiar with the matter. 

Discussions are underway though there’s no certainty a deal will be reached, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is ongoing.  

Mondelez, which owns Cadbury’s chocolate, may not want to acquire the entire company, one of the people said. 

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