Mondelez International has refocused its SnackFutures unit to focus squarely on venture-capital investments.

The snacks behemoth set up SnackFutures in 2018 to work in three fields: the “invention of new brands and businesses in key strategic areas”; the “reinvention of small-scale Mondelez brands with large-scale potential”; and “venturing with start-up entrepreneurs to seed new businesses”.

Through SnackFutures, Mondelez made a series of investments in smaller brands, including in US snacks business Hu Master Holdings in 2019, which the Lu biscuits owner fully acquired two years later.

The unit subsequently became more directed to VC-style investments and to launching products, which included CaPao snacks and Ruckus & Co., a line of lunchbox smoothies for kids.

In 2021, Mondelez launched an accelerator, CoLab, to work with fledgling businesses in what the Cadbury maker then called “well-being snacks”. CoLab was housed within SnackFutures.

The US giant has decided to give SnackFutures the direct remit of investing in “scale-up” companies and wound down CoLab. It has also given the unit a new name – SnackFutures Ventures.

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“SnackFutures was created five years ago to drive strategic growth for the company and that is still the case,” Richie Gray, the head of SnackFutures, said.

Gray said the focus of the unit was changed to support Mondelez’s overall efforts to “strengthen our core – chocolate, biscuits and baked snacks – as well as expand into new categories, for example, wellbeing [and] personalised nutrition”.

He added: “With this in mind, we shifted to being corporate-venture capital hub focused mostly on investing in scale-up, fast-growing companies in our core while still staying close to emerging brands, businesses and technologies.”

Gray said Mondelez would not disclose if it had made changes to the level of investment it is willing to put toward the SnackFutures Ventures unit.