Home / Industry / Retail /  Mondelez forays into snack bar category as consumer seek healthy, functional options


Chocolate maker Mondelez—known for its Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates—is entering the snack bar category in India, a move that underlines the pandemic’s effect on consumers' propensity towards healthy snacking beyond sugary chocolates and cookies.

The fruit and nut bar will be sold under the Cadbury Fuse Fit brand. Cadbury Fuse is a chocolate brand sold by the company. 

Currently available in two variants, the product will be marketed on the nutrition plank, offering protein and nuts such as almonds and cranberry fruits coated onto a layer of its signature chocolate.  Fuse Fit is targeted at “fitness enthusiasts" and not for those seeking functional products. “Those who are conscious and mindful of what they put in their mouth or looking for something that balances taste and nutrition," said Anil Viswanathan, senior director, marketing, Mondelez India. 

The move marks the American company’s expansion within the mini, on-the-go snacks category demand for which has surged as consumers spend longer hours at home and look for between meals snacking.

The $30 million snack bar category is still nascent and fragmented, said Viswanathan. Fruit and nut is the largest and the fastest growing sub-segment under the snack bar category. 

 “It's a great opportunity for us to come in and build that category. We think the timing is right, it's on-trend and scaling up," Viswanathan said.

Consumers are drawn to snack bars especially in the aftermath of the pandemic as they turn more watchful of what they eat and avoid products high on salt or sugar.

As a result, the category is seeing initial interest from other companies too. Sun Pharma Consumer Healthcare on Wednesday announced its foray into the nutrition bar segment in India with the launch of Revital NXT. Yoga Bar and Kellogg’s K-energy bars are other brands available in the market. 

Globally, snack bars are a priority segment for the company, Viswanathan said. It aligns with the company’s plan to get people to snack right and provide more choice to consumers, he added.

The company that sells chocolate, beverage, and snacking brands such as Chips Ahoy, Tang, Oreo, Ritz, 5 Star, Milk etc globally has been adding a layer of healthy products to its portfolio of brands. 

In 2019, Mondelez acquired US-based Perfect Snacks, that makes refrigerated protein bars, for an estimated $284 million. Back home, the company launched of a low-sugar variant of its popular Dairy Milk chocolate with 30% less sugar in 2019.

Fuse Fit, priced at Rs50, will be rolled out pan-India and be backed by an extensive television as well as an influencer campaign and sampling push. The spends on marketing and promotions will definitely be a “large", Viswanathan said.

The calorie count of the bar is in line with other brands in the segment, he said, with the sugar component “much lower" compared to a regular bar of chocolate.

Even as the pandemic pushes companies to increase their offerings of nutrition and less fatty products, Mondelez is unlikely to go easy on launching more chocolates in India. 

Even as awareness around immunity and wellness is going up, the company will continue to launch both indulgent products as well as those that offer mindful eating to consumers, he said.

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