Mondelez improves Latin American revenue, changes pricing to face volatility

Mondelez International, the world largest producer of snacks including biscuits, chocolate and candy,  increased its Latin American revenue in 2014, but this year changed its pricing strategy to face currency volatility, company officials recently told Latin Business Daily.

“Latin America reported net revenues in 2014 were over $5.1 million," Lisa Gibbons, a company spokeswoman, said in an email. "The Latin America business grew 15.1 percent in organic net revenue growth in 2014."

This figure compares with global revenue of $34 billion for 2014, according to data provided by Gibbons.

The company's Miami, Florida office  oversees Mondelez's operations in Latin America including Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

Gustavo Abelenda, president of Latin America for Mondelez International, oversees operations in the area. Abelenda has an accounting degree from the Universidad de Morón in Argentina and has held several positions in the region including that of vice president and managing director for the company's operations in Brazil between 2000 and 2003, “where he played a key role in the integration of Nabisco and Kraft Foods,” Gibbons said.

“Globally, snacking is the fastest-growing segment of the food industry and we see this same trend in Latin America,” Gibbons said. 

Mondelez, formerly known as Kraft Foods, Inc., came into being in October 2012 when Kraft spun off its North American grocery business.

“We have eight regional power brands – Oreo, Halls, Trident, Lacta, Milka, Club Social, BelVita and Tang," Gibbons said. "And virtually all of the Mondelez International products sold in Latin America are also made in the region. In Latin America, we have a number of brands, such as Field and Terrabusi, that have been mainstays in their respective markets for over 100 years."

Mondelez employs approximately 30,000 workers in Latin America and has more than a dozen production facilities in the region.

Company CEO Irene Rosenfeld said during a conference call to discuss the company´s earnings that the pricing strategy for Latin American countries has been changed so that now there are more frequent adjustments of local currency values to compensate depreciation.

“We used to price once a year," she said. "Now we are pricing far more frequently, particularly in a number of the more volatile markets. But for the most part, we are pricing to recover our cost increases, and you're seeing that play through in the margins, as well as in the revenue."

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