Nestle is considering selling its US confectionary business

Nestle is considering selling its US confectionary business, which includes the Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and Crunch chocolate bar brands. 

The company’s US confectionary business generated sales of SFr900m ($923m) last year, accounting for less than 1 percent of the Swiss transnational food and drink giant’s total worldwide sales.

According to data from Nielsen for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 8, 2016, Nestle boasts the fifth largest share of the US confectionery market, with 4.5% market share, behind Mars, Hershey and Mondelez International.

Nestlé S.A. logo

Nestle said on Thursday that it is looking at “strategic options” for the business, including a potential sale. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Nestle said in a press release:

“Nestlé will explore strategic options for its US confectionery business, including a potential sale. The review covers the US market only and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.”

“The strategic review does not cover Nestlé’s iconic Toll House baking products, a strategic growth brand which the company will continue to develop in the US market.”

“Nestlé will continue to invest and grow in the US, where it has leadership positions across a large number of categories such as petcare, bottled water, frozen meals, infant food and ice cream. Nestlé will continue to innovate across these categories to meet rapidly-changing consumer demand.”

The announcement is in line with Nestle’s new strategy of focusing more on health and nutrition.

It comes only months after the company posted its slowest global sales growth in over twenty years.

The global demand for chocolate has slowed as more consumers make the switch to healthier products.

According to the FT, Nestle said: “Rather than making the significant investment needed to be a leader in US confectionery, it is the right time to focus on other growth opportunities.”