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The Mondelez International logo and a stock graph are seen in this illustration picture taken July 26, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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LONDON, June 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Cadbury owner Mondelez International (MDLZ.O) is moving towards its health goals – slowly. The $81 billion treats maker is buying energy-bar firm Clif Bar Company for $2.9 billion. The valuation is 3.6 times Clif’s annual revenue, a slight premium on Mondelez’s 3.3 times, according to Refinitiv.

Chief Executive Dirk Van de Put wants to make his portfolio of biscuits and chocolates healthier via dealmaking and reducing the size of junk food portions. Wholesome food is at lower risk of regulatory blowback and is enjoying faster growth: Euromonitor reckons sales of protein and energy bars are expanding 9% a year.

But even with Clif, Mondelez’s snack-bar business will only have sales of just over $1 billion, around 3% of its total revenue. In 2021, biscuits accounted for half of sales, chocolates like Toblerone a third, and gum and candy 10%. Van de Put’s health goals remain a long way off. (By Dasha Afanasieva)

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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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Editing by Ed Cropley and Oliver Taslic

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