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Nestlé exploring potential sale of U.S. candy business

BY David Salazar

VEVEY, Switzerland —  Nestlé’s U.S. confectionery business could soon be in new hands. The company on Thursday announced that it was exploring strategic options for the division, including possible selling it, in efforts that it expects to complete by year’s end.

In 2016, the division had roughly $922.9 million (900 million Swiss francs) in sales for such brands as Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, LaffyTaffy, FunDip, Smarties and SkinnyCow, among several others, as well as international growth brand Crunch. The strategic review that Nestlé is undertaking will not include its Toll House baking products, nor will it expand beyond the UUnitedStates, with the company continuing to focus on its global brands —a portfolio that includes KitKat and had roughly $9 billion (8.8 billion Swiss francs) in sales last year.

The U.S. market represents the largest one for Nestlé, but the confectionery business makes up some 3% of its U.S. sales. The company said it would continue to invest in its U.S., where it leads in the pet care, bottled water, frozen meals, infant food and ice cream categories.

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Dove intros dark chocolate and peanut butter Promises

BY David Salazar

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate North America’s Dove Chocolate brand announced a new addition recently. The brand is introducing peanut butter and dark chocolate Promises, which blends Dove dark chocolate and peanut butter crème, nationwide.

With peanut butter making up one of the chocolate category’s largest segments, Dove said its experts saw an opportunity to bring consumers a new spin on the classic pairing.

"At Dove Chocolate, we're always challenging ourselves to find new ways to satisfy our fans' palettes," Dove Chocolate brand director Kerry Cavanaugh said. "After the success we saw with the launch of Dove Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Promises, we were confident fans would fall in love with the peanut butter pairing in our signature silky smooth dark chocolate variety."

The Promises are available in 7.94-oz. laydown bags for a suggested retail price of $4.09 to $4.79 and joins the existing dark chocolate line-up that includes: almond, sea salt and caramel; mint chocolate swirl; and mocha latte swirl. Dove Chocolate Promises also are available in milk chocolate flavors, including caramel and peanut butter.

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HRG relays fresh produce growth on United Fresh Market Expo panel

BY Michael Johnsen

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Angela Pinkstaff, Hamacher Resource Group director of business development, will participate on the panel, “Fresh Convenience Platforms to Meet Consumer Demands,” at the United Fresh Market Expo on June 14. Pinkstaff will join Jeff Lenard from the National Association of Convenience Stores, and Meg Burritt from Blue Apron, for a session reviewing how fresh produce/foods are expanding within the drug sector.

“As the self-care movement continues to grow, drug stores and pharmacists are playing an increasingly larger role in their patients’ wellness,” Pinkstaff said. “In order to truly influence better health outcomes, they need to have a holistic view that includes diet and nutrition. While chain drug stores have been offering fresh produce to varying degrees the past few years, they could still do more to make the connection between healthy eating and healthy living.”

Prior to joining HRG in 2013, Pinkstaff spent nearly 10 years in the natural products channel, managing national retail accounts for two manufacturers. Earlier this year she attended Natural Products Expo West and saw how the market has expanded, largely driven by consumers who have greater awareness and commitment to choosing naturally-derived foods, beverages and supplements.

 

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