Cadbury owner buys US energy bar maker Clif for $2.9bn

By Annabelle Liang
Business reporter

  • Published
Clif Bar energy bars.Image source, Clif Bar & Company

The owner of British chocolate brand Cadbury has announced that it is buying US energy bar maker Clif Bar & Company for $2.9bn (£2.4bn).

Mondelez International - which also owns Oreo, Toblerone and Milka - says the deal will help drive its plans to "lead the future of snacking".

The food and drinks giant also says it will continue to make Clif's products at its facilities in Idaho and Indiana.

In March, Mondelez warned over the impact of rising production costs.

In a statement on Monday, the American confectionery maker said the buyout will increase the value of its snack bar business to over $1bn.

It added that it would continue to operate Clif's business from Emeryville in California, where the firm is headquartered, once the transaction is completed later this year.

"We are thrilled to welcome Clif Bar & Company's iconic brands and passionate employees into the Mondelez International family," Mondelez's chairman and chief executive Dirk Van de Put said.

"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," he added.

Clif was founded three decades ago by Gary Erickson, who came up with the idea to create an energy bar during a 175-mile bike ride, according to the company's website.

The bar was debuted "after countless hours in mom's kitchen", and named after Mr Erickson's father and "childhood hero" Clifford.

Clif's chief executive Sally Grimes said Mondelez was "the right partner at the right time to support Clif in our next chapter of growth".

Mondelez - which has other global brands including Daim, Ritz and Belvita - reported net revenue of almost $29bn last year.

Rising costs

However, like many of its rivals it is facing increasing costs and in March said it would cut the size of Cadbury Dairy Milk sharing bars by 10%.

It reduced the bars' size from 200g to 180g, without lowering the price for customers.

"We look to absorb costs wherever we can, but in this difficult environment, we've had to make the decision to slightly reduce the weight of our medium Cadbury Dairy Milk bars for the first time since 2012," a Mondelez spokesperson said.

In April, Swiss food giant Nestle warned that it will continue to increase the prices of its products because of the rising cost of ingredients.

The maker of KitKats and Nesquik said it had put up its prices by more than 5% in the first three months of the year.

As costs rise, Nestle boss Mark Schneider said "further pricing and mitigating actions over the course of the year" will be required.

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Media caption,
Keith Tiplady runs a chocolate business from his family kitchen