Spurned in its effort to buy Hershey, candy giant Mondelez will leverage its Oreo brand to drive a wedge into Hershey's share of the U.S. market, bringing its Milka Oreo chocolate bars to these shores.
Milka Oreo bars are already sold in more than 20 countries and could be a threat to Hershey bars, which take a big bite out of the $14 billion U.S. chocolate market each year.
Mondelez says it will also expand its premium Green & Black's confections, which feature 70% dark chocolate in tablets and gift packs. It's an organic brand that is expected to appeal to consumers looking for "natural" snacks without giving up the feeling of indulgence that chocolate represents.
Speaking of indulgence, while Americans routinely beat themselves up over their fast-food habits, the U.S. actually trails most of Europe in its per capita chocolate consumption by 50% or more.
Abandoned Hershey pursuit
Mondelez, the world's second largest confectionary company, officially abandoned its pursuit of Hershey Aug. 29.
"Our proposal to acquire Hershey reflected our conviction that combining our two iconic American companies would create an industry leader with global scale in snacking and confectionery and a strong portfolio of complementary brands," said Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld said at the time.
"While we are disappointed in this outcome, we remain disciplined in our approach to creating value, including through acquisitions, and confident that our advantaged platform positions us well for top-tier performance over the long term."