Mondelēz picks Poland over Botswana for African gum

Gum production for Africa to move to Poland facility after Cadbury Botswana plant set for closure in December

Mondelēz International will close its chewing gum plant in Botswana and move production to Poland as African consumers ditch pellet gum for slab gum.

The Botswana plant in the capital Gaborone currently produces Mondelēz’s gum brands such as Dentyne and Clorets in pellet form. However, Mondelēz said it will close the plant in December this year as demand for pellet gum declines.

Botswanans spit out pellet gum

“The decision was taken as demand for pellet gum produced in Botswana has dropped over the last period as there has been a shift in the gum consumer market towards a preference in slab gum,” said Mondelēz in a statement.

Retail value sales for gum in Botswana in 2013 were $1m, up around 10%, according to Euromonitor International. The market is expected to remain largely stagnant up until 2019.

Around 134 employees at the Cadbury Botswana plant will be affected by the decision.

From December, Mondelēz will produce gum brands such as Dentyne, Clorets and Stimorol for the African market from its plant in Poland. Last year, the company also announced plans to close gum plants in Lebanon and Morocco.

Larger multi-category facilities

“It’s part of a global restructuring of the manufacturing footprint of our sites.We will have fewer single category manufacturing facilities,” André Benoît, director of corporate & government affairs at EEMEA at Mondelēz told ConfectioneryNews.

He said that the company would look to produce a mix of categories in larger facilities. At the Barclay's Capital Back to School Conference earlier this year, Mondelēz said it would close smaller sub-scale facilities and would open five previously unannounced plants by 2020.

Mondelez’s only major plant in  sub-Saharan Africa is located in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where Cadbury Dairy Milk tablets, countlines such as Lunch Bar and P.S., and Endearmints candy are made.

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