Oreo-Maker’s CEO to Skip Weed Rush to Focus on ‘Family Brands’

(Bloomberg) -- Don’t expect cannabis-infused Oreos anytime soon.

As loosening marijuana regulations in the U.S. and around the world fuel an investment boom that now includes large beverage companies, the snack giant Mondelez International Inc. is taking a pass, according to Chief Executive Officer Dirk Van de Put.

“It’s something that we have decided not to look at and we are not doing any work on that space,” he said in an interview Friday. “We are a company of family brands and big connections to kids and families, and we don’t think its our place to play in that market."

With the legal marijuana market exploding in the U.S., there has been speculation that packaged-food companies are studying the possibility of releasing edible cannabis products like those sold in dispensaries in Colorado, California, Washington and other states. But large companies, like most banks, have remained on the sidelines because the drug remains illegal under federal law.

Canada is preparing to approve recreational cannabis next month, giving companies a potential testing ground for a new set of products that could resonate with customers.

Van de Put took over the maker of Oreos and Chips Ahoy cookies last year and has spent the last several months studying the business. He unveiled his strategy on Friday, saying Mondelez will start to focus more on boosting revenue after years of cost cuts. With snack-food demand growing around the world, he said Mondelez is well-positioned to reignite growth after a four-year sales slump.

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