Nestlé is offloading several of its American candy brands, including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth and Nerds, in order to focus on the umpteen-million other products they produce. The buyer? Italy’s Ferrero International SA, the makers of Ferrero Rocher, the most random candy.
Nestlé “said Ferrero will acquire more than 20 of its U.S. confectionery brands, allowing the company to focus on non-candy products from its U.S. division like pet products, bottled water, coffee, frozen food and baby nutrition,” reported CNN Money. Nestlé’s press release notes that they’re keeping international candy brands including KitKat and also TollHouse.
Reuters says their American candy business lags behind Hershey, Mars, and Lindt, and they want to style themselves as a healthier brand in keeping with larger market trends. (Their announcement ends with some language about their US business: “Nestlé in the United States is committed to enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future—for individuals and families, for our thriving and resilient communities, and for the planet.”) “Candy is struggling to compete with healthier snacks such as nuts and granola bars, losing shopper dollars and shelf space,” according to the Wall Street Journal, even though granola bars are just shitty candy bars. When they do indulge, people want fancier chocolates. Candy makers are accordingly attempting to diversify:
While Hershey bid against Ferrero for the Nestlé assets, the U.S. company is also diversifying beyond sweets—as is its biggest domestic competitor, Mars Inc.
Last year, M&M’s maker Mars, the world’s largest pet-food manufacturer, purchased a veterinary clinic and dog day-care operator VCA Inc. for $7.7 billion. It also bought a minority stake in KIND LLC, which makes fruit-and-nut bars. Hershey said last month it would buy SkinnyPop popcorn owner Amplify Snack Brands Inc. in its largest deal to date, valued at $1.6 billion.
The Journal says that Ferrero is betting it can innovate its way into America’s stomachs, offering the recent example of Tic Tac gum. To that end, here are some requests from Jezebel staffers:
- “a candy that u eat just by thinkin,” also, “telepathic”
- “a sugar-free candy that does NOT give u diarrhea”
- “an everlasting gobstopper that is actually everlasting”
- Bring back those ridiculous Butterfinger “Snow Bro” guys they made two Christmases ago. Send them directly to my house. They are absurd but delicious.
- Literally any additional uses for Nutella. Just keep ‘em coming.
Thanks in advance, Ferrero International!