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The right snack for the right moment

Released at: 18:14, 04/01/2019

The right snack for the right moment

Mr. Stephane Gripon, Managing Director of Mondelez Kinh Do Vietnam | Photo: Mondelez Kinh Do Vietnam

Mr. Stephane Gripon, Managing Director of Mondelez Kinh Do Vietnam, tells VET about its aim to build the best snacking company in Vietnam.

by Phi Linh

What achievements has Mondelez Kinh Do Vietnam made since the acquisition? Why did Mondelez International choose to acquire the confectionery business of Kinh Do in Vietnam?

First, we consider Vietnam an attractive place to invest in due to its demographics, geographic position, and potential for business growth and economic integration. We also recognize that the snack food industry has great potential for growth due to rising urbanization, greater purchasing power, busy lifestyles, and the need for convenient food. We see an opportunity to grow the category through the rise of consumption per capita and in purchase frequency.

Our ambition is to build the best snacking company in Vietnam and the acquisition of the Kinh Do confectionary business allowed us to accelerate our plan to meet this objective.

Kinh Do was a successful business for more than two decades and one of the most-loved brands among Vietnamese families. It also owned a great portfolio of leading Vietnamese brands, including Kinh Do mooncakes and buns, Cosy biscuits, Solite soft cakes, AFC crackers, and Slide salty snacks. At that time, Mondelez had a modest presence in Vietnam, with Oreo, Ritz, Lu, Toblerone, and Cadbury Dairy Milk.

The acquisition of Kinh Do’s snacking business has been a game changer for Mondelez in Vietnam. We have combined the best of both companies to create the undisputed snacks leader in Vietnam and we also built a strong platform to accelerate our growth in Southeast Asia.

It has been three years since the acquisition. Mondelez Kinh Do has been steadily growing and strengthening its position, enjoying popularity among Vietnamese consumers. Owning a diverse product portfolio with superior quality, the company is turning towards the next phase, to be a total snacking company with existing strong local brands and iconic international brands including Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers, LU cookies, Slide snacks, Cadbury and Toblerone chocolate, Halls candy, and Trident chewing gum.

What have been the factors behind the successful combination of Mondelez and Kinh Do?

Mondelez has strong experience in integrating other businesses and we have been building on this capability. In any M&A, the enemy is uncertainty, and it is critical to have clear and direct communication with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Our message has been articulated around “Better Together”, and this became a commitment and an objective for everyone engaged in the integration of the two businesses. We also defined a few integration principles, including maintaining business growth momentum and combining the best of both companies. Delivering on our commitments helped us to create the trust and the motivation for our people to participate actively in the creation of Mondelez Kinh Do.

I’m proud of what our employees have achieved and I’m thankful for their efforts during this journey. We have completed our integration after three years and are now ready to accelerate. I believe we now have the best portfolio in the industry and the best expertise to grow the category with our customers. We are strengthening our route to market and we keep investing in developing the capabilities of our people.

What is your brand positioning in the local and global markets? How will the brand focus on investment to materialize goals?

Our purpose is to empower people to snack right and our mission is to lead the future of snacking by offering the right snack for the right moment made in the right way.

We believe that we can win by offering a superior and diverse portfolio, focusing on brilliant execution and operational excellence and creating a growth culture with our people.

Regarding Vietnam, we are entering a new phase of our journey. Mondelez Kinh Do is aiming to build the best snacking company, combining the great heritage of local brands and the power of our iconic international brands, building a great place to grow for our employees and strengthening our route to market to better serve and satisfy our customers. Our business is also very unique in Vietnam due to the importance of gifting. Our brands play a very important role in family celebrations during the Lunar New Year (Tet) and the Mid-autumn Festival.

We are also investing more in our communities, including our joy-school program that has benefitted approximately 2,500 students in two schools in the north. In the end, we are committed to grow our business, grow our people, and grow our impact in Vietnam.

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