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2013 Power 50: Irene Rosenfeld, No. 6 in Suppliers

Irene Rosenfeld
Irene Rosenfeld

Oreo parted ways with the equally iconic Jell-O brand last October as part of a spinoff that grouped the former with global snacks Cadbury, Nabisco and Ritz, and the latter with U.S. grocery brands Maxwell House, Planters and Oscar Mayer.

Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO of Mondelez International, orchestrated the split and chose to head the global snack business, which, with $36 billion in sales, is twice the size of the American grocery business that retains the Kraft name.

“We have an advantaged geographic footprint, an enviable portfolio of iconic brands and innovative platforms, a virtuous cycle driving strong underlying operating momentum and a long runway of growth opportunities,” Rosenfeld said at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference earlier this year.

“As a result, we’re well positioned for sustainable, profitable growth, and I’m confident in our ability to deliver top-tier financial results.”

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Rosenfeld has set some lofty goals, including a 5% to 7% increase in organic revenue over the long term, and a 5% increase for 2013.

Though focused on its strong portfolio of brands and large geographic footprint, Mondelez faces some strong headwinds, observed Erin Lash, senior equity analyst for Chicago-based Morningstar.

“Revenues have been hindered by lower coffee prices, capacity constraints and a failing gum business — pressures that we don’t think will fade over the next several quarters,” she said.

But there are bright spots too, like the successful launch of products appealing to the varying tastes and preferences of consumers in international markets. Take, for instance, aerated chocolate.


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“We launched our Bubbly aerated chocolate platform early last year in the U.K. and Ireland, and it’s become the most successful new product to debut there in the last five years,” said Rosenfeld at the CAGNY Conference. “By leveraging our global category presence around the world, we’ve quickly expanded Bubbly to Germany, France and Russia under the Milka trademark, to Brazil under Lacta and to South Africa under Cadbury Dairy Milk.”

Bubbly generated worldwide revenue of about $80 million in less than a year. That figure is expected to double in 2013 as Mondelez expands to markets like Canada and Poland.

Rosenfeld will continue to gain access to and expand Mondelez’s presence in emerging markets.

“We expect to increase investments by about $100 million this year, $200 million in 2014 and up to $300 million in 2015 and thereafter in emerging markets,” said Rosenfeld at the CITI Global Consumer Conference in May.

Her first priority is the BRIC markets, with Brazil, Russia, India and China representing about one-third of Mondelez’s emerging-market revenues and a large share of its resources.

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