Nestlé Explores Sale of U.S. Confectionery Business

VEVEY, Switzerland — Nestlé SA is exploring strategic options for its U.S. confectionery business, including a possible sale.

A strategic review of the company will cover the confectionery U.S. market only and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Nestlé's U.S. confectionery business had sales totaling $924 million in 2016. It primarily includes popular local chocolate brands such as Butterfinger, BabyRuth, 100Grand, SkinnyCow, Raisinets, Chunky, OhHenry! and SnoCaps, as well as sugar brands like SweeTarts, LaffyTaffy, Nerds, FunDip, PixyStix, Gobstopper, BottleCaps, Spree and Runts. It also comprises the international chocolate brand Crunch.

The strategic review will not cover Nestlé's Toll House baking products — a strategic growth brand which the company will continue to develop in the U.S. market.

Nestlé also remains committed to growing its international confectionery brands around the world, particularly its global brand KitKat. The company's global confectionery sales amounted to about $9 billion in 2016.

With sales of $27.4 billion in 2016, the U.S. is Nestlé's largest market. The confectionery business represents about 3 percent of U.S. sales. The company employs more than 51,000 people in more than 120 U.S. locations.

Nestlé will continue to invest and grow in the United States, where it has leadership positions across a large number of categories such as petcare, bottled water, frozen meals, infant food and ice cream, according to the company.