Last week the new Kraft Foods Group was devoured by 3G Capital, a Brazilian private-equity firm, and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, in a deal valued at $48bn.
As David Turner, an analyst at Mintel, put it “When Buffett invests in a sector, it gives a sign that the sector is ripe for acquisitions”, so Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Mondelēz, is doing whatever she can to make sure the food and beverage giant isn’t next.
In order to cost-cut, the confectionary conglomerate needs to improve profitability and place a focus on creating more efficient operations. Perhaps this is why Rosenfeld has insisted on a restructuring and upgrading of Mondelēz's production facilities and supply chain as well as altering its organisational structure to be more agile.
Yesterday the American company announced that it has begun to make and sell Oreo in Morocco, after investing almost $11m in a state-of-the-art local production capacity to create the company's largest Oreo production line in Africa.
The investment will make the world's best-selling cookie widely available to Morocco's 34m people and expand the local biscuits’ market by generating more business for Mondelēz’s Morocco trade partners.
Mondelēz Maroc, a subsidiary of the firm, will have the capacity to make as many as 900m Oreo biscuits per year, or almost 2.5m Oreo cookies per day in its Casablanca facility, after completing installation of the high-tech production line and starting up in March. If laid side by side, that's enough dunkable biscuits in a year to stretch the full length of Morocco more than 15 times.
"We're so excited to be making this delicious, high-quality and iconic biscuit available to all Moroccans, made right here in the Kingdom by Mondelēz Maroc," said Antoine Collette, President Biscuits for Mondelēz in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Collette added: "No matter where it is made—whether in Europe, the United States or Morocco—Oreo is the same delightful biscuit baked to the highest Mondelēz International standards that has brought so much joy to billions of people since coming to market more than a hundred years ago."
Two years after completing the acquisition of Biscuiterie Industrielle du Moghreb, the $11m investment in the Casablanca plant reinforces Mondelēz’s presence and interest in Morocco. Mondelēz is the world's largest maker of biscuits, and the number one maker in Morocco.
With the investment, MondelēzMaroc will make the crème-filled confection more available to Moroccans, offering it in a range of attractive formats and at pricing that Moroccans can afford. Capitalising on its large and well-developed distribution network, Mondelēz Maroc intends to make the chocolate sandwich cookie widely accessible in traditional, and modern, trade stores.