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Swiss food giant Nestlé is considering putting its US confectionery business up for sale, which includes popular brands such as Butterfinger and BabyRuth and generated $924 million in sales last year.
The company said it would ‘explore strategic options’ with the review expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Other brands within the Nestlé US portfolio include SweeTarts, Nerds, 100Grand, SkinnyCow, Raisinets, Chunky, OhHenry! and SnoCaps. It also comprises the international chocolate brand Crunch.
The strategic review, however, does not include the company’s Toll House baking products, which it seeks to develop in the US market.
A sale of the sweets business would be the first major decision by Mark Schneider, who became the company’s CEO last year. He has said that he aims to focus on fast-growing business areas such as pet food and coffee.
With sales of $27.4 billion in 2016, the US is Nestlé’s largest market, with the confectionery business representing around 3% of US sales.
The company said it will continue to focus on growing its international confectionery activities, centred on global brand KitKat. Last year its global confectionery sales were $9 billion.
In a statement, the company said: “Nestlé will continue to invest and grow in the US, where it has leadership positions across a large number of categories such as pet care, bottled water, frozen meals, infant food and ice cream. Nestlé will continue to innovate across these categories to meet rapidly-changing consumer demand.”
The news comes just months after the global brand reported its slowest global sales in over two decades, at a rate of 3.2% in 2016.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017