Mondelez International, home to Milka chocolate and Oreo biscuits, is interested in buying brands offering healthier snacks, its CEO Dirk Van de Put has said.

The US snacks giant, which has seen its sales grow during Covid-19, told The Financial Times it would turn to M&A to add healthier products to its portfolio.

“If you talk about health and wellness … for sure, we want to launch brands but launching new brands is not easy and acquiring brands that already have the prestige and the client base, and are starting to develop, is easier,” Van de Put said.

Mondelez, with a product range that also includes Cadbury chocolate and Lu biscuits, would still move to bolster its portfolio in markets where it lacked a presence in those areas but the company also wanted to add healthier products to its range, CFO Luca Zamarella told the newspaper.

“It’s more about product lines that are more in tune with wellbeing, but it’s certainly not limited to wellbeing,” Zamarella said.

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The Mondelez finance chief suggested the company could look to continue to sell down its stakes in coffee businesses JDE Peet’s and Keurig Dr Pepper to fund purchases. “The idea we have is to convert those coffee stakes into more snacking platforms and acquisitions,” Zamarella said.

Approached by just-food to confirm Mondelez’s comments to the FT, the company added: “Our coffee stakes, in both KDP and JDE Peet’s, have always been qualified as financial investments and we have been clear that they provide us flexibility as we seek opportunities to grow our core snacks business. We continue to believe both KDP and JDE Peet’s have tremendous potential and we are confident in both the strategic direction and management of the two companies. There is still value upside for us.”