PARIS — Like many global companies, Mondelez International, Inc. is dealing with varying degrees of uncertainty in terms of consumer demand.
In a June 14 presentation as part of the Deutsche Bank dbAccess Global Consumer Conference, Luca Zaramella, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Mondelez, was asked by an analyst to rank the relative concerns for the Chicago-based company.
At the top of the list, he said, is the European consumer.
“At this stage, I would probably see Europe as the more doubtful consumer situation, driven by the fact that we will see the inflation, driven by the fact that historically the European consumer is a little bit more susceptible to negative feelings plus there is a whole issue of the war that is hanging as a cloud,” Mr. Zaramella said. “And the discussions with the retailers on pricing are always a little bit more difficult in Europe.”
Meanwhile, the situation in the United States has been a bit more of a surprise, he said. Mr. Zaramella said Mondelez has taken far more pricing action in the United States than in Europe, but up to this point the consumer reaction has been limited.
“So a lot of resiliency from the US consumer, I think, driven also by the fact that US consumers … (are) feeling pretty good as it relates to biscuits and chocolates,” he said.
Lastly, Mondelez’s emerging markets have been “a bit of an enigma,” Mr. Zaramella said, adding the company is seeing stronger growth than what it has seen in the past. He said the company has increased prices, particularly in Latin America, quite significantly, but volume growth has continued strong.
“We chart it down to the fact that the consumer has saved money, (is) feeling good about the pandemic, and they are kind of living their life like they want to live it,” he said.