Smucker sold off the Pillsbury Doughboy and his baked-goods buddies for just $375m

In response to changing consumer preferences, Smucker sold off its baked goods brands -- including Pillsbury -- to focus on higher-performing categories such as pet food.


July 11, 2018

The Pillsbury Doughboy is packing his bags after parent company Smucker kicked him and his siblings — Hungry Jack, Martha White, Jim Dandy, and White Lily — out of the House that Jelly Built.  

Private equity company Brynwood Partners will buy Pillsbury and their baked-good brethren for the bargain price of $375m as Smucker adjusts business priorities.

Baked goods just aren’t the jam anymore

Smucker bought Pillsbury in 2004 for $840m. But, due to changing customer tastes, baked goods slipped to just 5% of Smucker’s revenue — forcing the company to sell their bakery brands for way less dough.

Now, to boost profits, the 121-year-old jelly juggernaut is turning to new categories such as coffee, snacks, and pet products.

Out with the pastries, in with the pet food

Smucker recently shelled out $1.9B for Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, following the lead of other big food brands like General Mills, which paid $8B for Blue Buffalo Pet Products.

According to their website, Smucker hopes to “bring people and pets together to share memorable meals and moments.”

Now, Smucker will leverage their premium pet brands (like Rachael Ray’s Nutrish) as they fight other food companies to carve out some kibble from the $20B pet-care market.

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