Mondelez forks out RM$21 million to extend biscuit production in Johor Bahru

Mondelez Malaysia (Mondelez), part of the global snacking powerhouse Mondelez International has pumped in RM$21 million to extend the production of belVita Breakfast Biscuits (belVita) to its manufacturing facility in Tampoi, Johor Bahru.

A Mondelez's spokesperson told A+M that the expansion is expected to fuel the supply of its belVita range across Malaysia and other Southeast Asia markets such as Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Swadheen Sharma, managing director for Mondelez Malaysia (pictured) said that making Malaysia as the home of belVita is a "compelling" move for Mondelez: "It is in line with the strategic importance of the market, not only as a key driver for our industry leadership in food and beverage, but also a contributor to our worldwide supply chain."

Sharma also said that its plant in Johor Bahru has the right capability to bring a high standard in terms of quality, safety, taste and halal-compliance as required for belVita biscuits.

"We are leveraging the plant’s state-of-the-art facilities, expertise and good manufacturing processes built upon a 57-year long heritage in creating some of Malaysians’ top favourite biscuits.”

Road to healthier choice offerings

Mondelez also added that its belVita production, which contributes to 14 percent of the plant’s current capacity, came at the back of its successful Southeast Asia launch of the brand in August 2016.

It also said the introduction of belVita is Mondelez’s concerted response to the growing consumer preference towards healthy snacking and convenient breakfast options.

“We make it a top priority to keep up with our consumers and innovate alongside their evolving snacking behaviour. More than just providing them with delicious moments of joy, breaking into the market with belVita as the first nutritious breakfast biscuit is a big step forward in our long-term journey towards extending healthier options to our consumers,” said Sharma.

"Evidently, having belVita ‘Made in Malaysia’ is more than just a vanity tag. It is a significant part of the company’s global growth and ambition,” he added.

Available in more than 50 countries, belVita is one of Mondelez’s fastest growing brands today, charting about 20% sales growth annually over the past couple of years.

The 24,330 square metre site in Johor Bahru established in 1959,  has an annual production capacity of over 32,000 tonnes of biscuits and staff strength of close to 500 people.

The plant has been instrumental in bringing to market 46 stock keeping units (SKUs) for its iconic biscuit brands such as Jacobs, Chipsmore and Tiger Biskuat. Beyond domestic consumption, the production outputs are also exported to its primary Southeast Asian markets mentioned above, as well as Lebanon.