One of the many knocks on Americans is that we’re overweight and eat terribly. While we’re in no position to refute that, clearly we’re not eating terribly enough because Nestlé has announced that they are putting their entire U.S. confectionary division and all of the products it creates up for sale.
Just to be clear, that includes Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Kit Kat (which is produced by Hershey in America), Nestlé Crunch, Oh Henry!, Raisinets, and Wonka-branded candies such as Nerds and Sweetarts, just to name a few. In spite of all our efforts to eat as many of those as we can, it’s just not enough anymore and the company wants out.
Per Bloomberg, the bidding and negotiating processes are already “robust” and a sale is expected by the first quarter of 2018. They expect the division to sell for anywhere between $1 billion and $3 billion.
For those following the chocolate industry for a while, it’s perhaps not a big surprise. The market has been falling for a while. When Lindt & Spruengli forecasted its weakest revenue growth in eight years back in August, it pointed the blame at the North American market. Meanwhile, Hershey recently paid $1.6 billion for Amplify, the company behind SkinnyPop and other chip-type snacks, in order to diversify.
Nestlé also isn’t stopping with candy. They also recently sold off their tea brands Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds. Clearly, they’re not feeling sentimental about what they cut loose.
We don’t think you need to run immediately to the local store and stock up on Butterfingers just yet. Chances are the buyer will keep these iconic brands going for years to come. Perhaps there will be cuts, but you’d have to guess the candies more likely to get tossed away would be something like Goobers. Who’s still eating Goobers?