Mondelēz International is to acquire pioneer organic energy bar maker Clif Bar & Company in a deal worth $2.9 billion.
The US food and confectionery multinational says that acquisition of leading on-trend brands CLIF, LUNA and CLIF Kid expands its global snack bar business to more than $1 billion, including its refrigerated snacking business Perfect Snacks in the US and performance nutrition business Grenade in the UK. This acquisition also advances the company’s strategy to reshape its portfolio to sustain higher long-term growth.
“We are thrilled to welcome Clif Bar & Company’s iconic brands and passionate employees into the Mondelēz International family,” said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz International.
“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.”
The transaction aims to create cost synergies by using Mondelez International’s global and North American scale to expand Clif’s sales distribution to gain further penetration in existing and new customers and channels in the US.
“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|
“Mondelēz International is the right partner at the right time to support Clif in our next chapter of growth,” said Sally Grimes, chief executive officer, Clif Bar & Company. “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 International will continue to operate the Clif Bar & Company business from its headquarters in Emeryville. The company will also continue to manufacture its products in its facilities in Twin Falls, ID, and Indianapolis, IN.
COMMENT AND REACTION
Organic commitment in the spotlight
“The ownership issue in the natural and organic sector tends to swing in and out of view. It swung back into view recently with news that Nestlé had bought the core supplements brands – Nature’s Bounty, Solgar, Osteo Bi-Flex and Puritan’s Pride among them – of The Bountiful Company in a deal worth $5.7 billion.
In recent years, the ownership of organic food firms has generally been more of a live issue. While some argue that the sale of organic disruptor brands to multinationals is simply a feature of the brand life cycle (sometimes with the additional claim that organic brand owners are ‘selling in’ their values, rather than selling out), others warn that the process has damaging cumulative consequences.
Clif Bar says it is on a “relentless quest” to become 100% organic (currently around 70% of the ingredients it uses are certified organic). How committed Mondelēz will be in supporting the brand with this objective (and not embarking on an opposite direction of travel) is something the organic industry will watch very closely”.
Clif Bar co-founders Gary and Kit Crawford