Mondelēz International, Inc. has announced an agreement to acquire Clif Bar & Company, a leading U.S. maker of nutritious energy bars with organic ingredients, for $2.9 billion with additional contingent earnout consideration. The acquisition of leading on-trend brands CLIF®, LUNA® and CLIF Kid® expands Mondelēz International’s global snack bar business to more than $1 billion, including its complementary and leading refrigerated snacking business Perfect Snacks in the U.S. and leading performance nutrition business Grenade in the U.K. 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 is expected to be top-line accretive in year two and create cost synergies by using Mondelez International’s global and North American scale to expand Clif’s sales distribution and gain further penetration in existing and new customers and channels in the U.S.

“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, CA, nurturing its entrepreneurial spirit and maintaining the brand’s purpose and authenticity. The company will also continue to manufacture its products in its facilities in Twin Falls, ID, and Indianapolis, IN.

The acquisition of Clif Bar & Company will build on Mondelēz International’s continued prioritisation of fast-growing snacking segments in key geographies. So far in 2022, Mondelēz International has announced an agreement to acquire Ricolino, Mexico’s leading confectionary company, from Grupo Bimbo and closed on its acquisition of Chipita S.A., a leader in the Central and Eastern European snack-size cakes and pastries category. This progress followed a year of strong global snacking growth in 2021, including the acquisitions of Grenade, a leading U.K. performance nutrition company; Gourmet Food Holdings, a leading Australian food company in the attractive premium biscuit and cracker category; and Hu, a well-being snacking company in the United States.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and a pre-closing F reorganisation and conversion to a limited liability company by Clif Bar & Company, and the transaction is expected to close in Q3 following customary regulatory review.

Alice Popple, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view: “Mondelez’s initiative to expand its snack business highlights people’s persistent demand for easy, convenient, on-the-go food. Globally, 47%* of consumers deem ‘convenience’ to be essential when making a purchase, which reinforces the motive behind Mondelez’s recent acquisition to take over successful snack brand Clif. 

“However, the snack aspect of Clif’s energy bars is not its main selling point, as the products feature energy-boosting claims. The demand for energy boosting ingredients is high following the pandemic, with 35%** of global consumers deeming this to be essential when making a purchase, and 48%** agreeing that it is nice to have. Now that offices and gyms have reopened, consumers are actively looking for products that can give them that extra boost in the day following two years of lockdowns, with Clif perfectly positioned for this. 

“Clif bars are also proudly natural, organic and plant-based, which adds value to Mondelez’s plant-based and ‘healthy’ product portfolio. Such claims are aligned with the consumer preferences discovered in GlobalData’s 2022 Q2 survey, where we found that 42%* of global consumers deem ‘natural’ properties to be essential, while almost a third (30%) say the same for ‘plant-based’ claims. Clif has acknowledged these preferences and tailored its product to meet these needs. The knowledge, expertise and resources that Mondelez can utilise to facilitate Clif in a growth strategy will allow the brand to succeed further and will pave the way for other independent natural snack brands.”

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Editor: Kiran Grewal