Mondelēz International Inc. is to buy energy bar maker Clif Bar & Company for $2.9 billion to expand its global snack bar business.
The deal includes the Clif, Luna and Clif Kid brands, creating a $1 billion-plus global snack bar franchise for the food giant, including its complementary and refrigerated snacking business Perfect Snacks in the U.S. and performance nutrition business Grenade in the U.K. The company said the acquisition will advance its strategy to reshape its portfolio to sustain higher long-term growth.
The global snack bar category is worth US$16 billion and growing, according to Euromonitor International.
“We are thrilled to welcome Clif Bar & Company’s iconic brands and passionate employees into the Mondelēz International family,” Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International, said in a release. “This transaction further advances our ambition to lead the future of snacking by winning in chocolate, biscuits and baked snacks as we continue to scale our high-growth snack bar business. As a leader and innovator in well-being and sustainable snacking in the U.S, Clif Bar & Company embodies our purpose to ‘empower people to snack right’ and we look forward to advancing this important work with Clif’s committed colleagues in the years ahead."
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Gary Erickson founded Clif Bar & Company in 1992. Two years earlier, he came up with the idea for a better tasting bar while on a 175-mile bike ride near San Francisco, according to the company’s website. He worked with his mom to perfect the recipe for nutritious energy bars with organic ingredients, before launching the business. Erickson and his wife Kit Crawford led the company as co-CEOs until 2020 when Sally Grimes was named CEO. Erickson and Crawford remained on the company’s board.
“Mondelēz International is the right partner at the right time to support Clif in our next chapter of growth,” said Grimes. “Our purposes and cultures are aligned and being part of a global snacking company with broad product offerings can help us accelerate our growth while staying true to our deeply ingrained Five Aspirations - sustaining our people, planet, community, business, and brands - five bottom lines that have grounded our company since its founding and will remain our North Star going forward.”
Mondelēz said it would continue to operate the Clif Bar business out of the company’s headquarters in Emeryville, Calif., as well as manufacture products out of current facilities in Indiana and Idaho. The deal is expected to close in Q3.
The acquisition will build on Mondelēz International’s continued prioritization of fast-growing snacking segments in key geographies. So far this year, Mondelēz has announced an agreement to acquire Mexican confectionary company Ricolino from Grupo Bimbo and closed on its acquisition of Chipita S.A., a leader in Central and Eastern European snack-size cakes and pastries category.
This followed ear of growth in 2021, including the acquisitions of Grenade; Gourmet Food Holdings, an Australian food company in the attractive premium biscuit and cracker category; and Hu, a well-being snacking company in the United States.
With 2021 net revenues of approximately $29 billion, Mondelēz operates in more than 150 countries. Its brands include, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Oreo, belVita and LU biscuits, Milka, Toberlone, Sour Patch Kids and Trident gum.