US-based confectionery, F&B conglomerate Mondelez International laid the cornerstone for construction of its new $90 million biscuit plant in Bahrain as part of its plan to tap rising demand in the Middle East and Africa for brands such as Oreo, Ritz and TUC biscuits. The project, which was announced in October, will reach full commercial production early next year.
“Demand for our biscuits in the Middle East and Africa has been growing at double-digit rates and investing in a state-of-the-art facility in Bahrain will enable us to capitalise on this,” says Daniel Myers, Mondelez International executive vice president, integrated supply chain. “This new investment is part of our journey to reinvent our supply chain around the world to meet growth demands, while also reducing costs and improving productivity.”
“We are very pleased to see Mondelez International moving ahead quickly with construction of this multi-million-dollar facility that will make such a valuable contribution to the economy and people of Bahrain,” adds Zayed R Alzayani, Bahrain’s minister of industry & commerce.
According to Mondelez International, its supply chain reinvention plan is expected to deliver $3 billion in gross productivity savings, $1.5 billion in net savings and $1 billion in incremental cash from 2014 to 2016. In the initial two-to-three-year phase, the plant will operate four biscuit-manufacturing lines producing Prince and TUC biscuits – in addition to Oreo, Ritz and belVita – as well Barni cakes.
The plant will create as many as 300 direct jobs by the end of the initial phase and, through a multiplier effect, help sustain over 1,000 more in the local economy. This is Mondelez International’s second major investment in Bahrain after investing more than $75 million in developing a Kraft Cheese and Tang powdered-beverage plant in 2008.