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Nestle exploring sale of US confectionery business

FBR Staff Writer Published 16 June 2017

Nestlé is considering a sale of its US confectionery business, which includes brands such as Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and Crunch chocolate bars.

The food and beverage giant is exploring strategic options, which would pertain to only the US market and is likely to be completed by the end of this year.

In 2016, the US confectionery business fetched the group around CHF900m ($923m) in sales. The business primarily comprises regional chocolate brands like Butterfinger, 100Grand, BabyRuth, SkinnyCow, Raisinets, OhHenry!, SnoCaps and Chunky, alongside international chocolate brand Crunch.

Nestle’s confectioneries in the US also include local sugar brands that include SweeTarts, FunDip, PixyStix, Gobstopper, LaffyTaffy, Nerds, BottleCaps, Runts and Spree.

A statement released by Nestle read: “Nestlé will continue to invest and grow in the US, where it has leadership positions across a large number of categories such as petcare, bottled water, frozen meals, infant food and ice cream.

“Nestlé will continue to innovate across these categories to meet rapidly-changing consumer demand.”

Excluded from the strategic review is Nestle’s Toll House baking products which will be continued to be developed by the food giant in the American market.

Nestlé asserted that its commitment towards growing its international confectionery activities in the rest of the world, especially its global brand KitKat would remain intact.

The Swiss-based company’s global confectionery sales revenue in 2016 was CHF 8.8bn ($9.02bn).

Recently, Nestle had launched a global initiative to enhance the health value and taste of its Maggi product range all over the world by 2020. As part of the initiative dubbed as Maggi ‘Simply Good’, Nestle plans to cut down the overall salt content by bringing down the average sodium content in the products by 10%.

Image: Nestlé Headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. Photo: courtesy of Nestlé.