Nestlé sells its US candy biz to Ferrero

Nestlé, the Swiss maker of all things Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, and Crunch bars, has agreed to sell its US confectionary brands to Ferrero (the maker of Nutella) for close to $3B. As Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider explains, “This move allows Nestlé to invest and innovate across a range of categories … such as pet care, […]

Nestlé, the Swiss maker of all things Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, and Crunch bars, has agreed to sell its US confectionary brands to Ferrero (the maker of Nutella) for close to $3B.

As Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider explains, “This move allows Nestlé to invest and innovate across a range of categories … such as pet care, bottled water, coffee, frozen meals, and infant nutrition.”

Why the change of heart?

The chocolate powerhouse has been pivoting healthier for some time, heeding Americans’ call for less fatty snacks. With the candy biz now only making up 3% of their US sales, this move will help them meet their goal of becoming a “high-tech health company.” 

But cutting out sugar is only part of their new initiative: In December, the company shelled out $2.3B to acquire the supplement company Atrium Innovations — reportedly “one of many” multibillion-dollar moves the company has made to wedge itself between food and medicine over the last decade. 

Ferrero is reaping the benefits

This sale will make the Hazelnut maven the third-largest chocolate company in the world behind Mars and Mondeléz. 

With Butterfinger and Baby Ruth added to their Nutella-focused arsenal, Ferrero will get the chance to further build out their presence in US markets.

That said, Ferrero doesn’t get to add the one true Nestlé mainstay to their delicious repertoire: Nestlé’s iconic Toll House baked goods. Because no health kick in the world is strong enough to resist Toll House.

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