Mondelēz International, Inc., East Hanover, N.J., announced plans to sell its Kraft-branded cheese business in Middle East and Africa (MEA) to Arla Foods, Denmark.  

The move enables Mondelēz International to focus on its newly-announced strategic plan to drive top-line growth and generate attractive returns, centered around three priorities—accelerate consumer-centric growth, drive operational excellence and build a winning growth culture. Under this plan, the company will focus on faster-growing snacks categories.

“We’re very proud to have been the custodians of the Kraft cheese brand in recent years. Our talented teams have been instrumental to the success of our cheese business in this region, and I am confident that they will continue contributing their significant expertise under new owners. The time is right for the brand to take the next step in its journey, and we are very happy to hand over this successful business to Arla Foods,” says Maurizio Brusadelli, executive vice president and president, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) for Mondelēz International.

“We are pleased to welcome this successful business into the Arla family,” adds Tim Ørting Jørgensen, executive vice president of Arla Foods International. “We have an established and growing business in the Middle East and know our consumers and customers well in this part of the world. As such, this deal is an excellent strategic fit for us, as it enables us to both expand our branded presence in the cheese category and secure the local production capacity we have been looking for to continue to grow our business.”

All Kraft-branded cheese products in the MEA markets, as well as the cheese manufacturing facility in Bahrain, are subject to this sale transaction. The Philadelphia cream cheese brand and Jocca cottage cheese are not included in the deal, and remain under the ownership of Mondelēz International. There are no changes to Mondelēz International’s cheese and grocery business in other markets around the world.