These days, it seems like American consumers are starting to at least get somewhat smarter with their snack choices than they used to be. While trading candy for kale is great news for public health officials and "wellness" brands, some chocolatiers are starting to see their profit margins melt.
In the latest sign of the sugar-free times, multinational food conglomerate Nestlé has announced its plans to bow out of the US chocolate market. That means the entire national division of the company who owns Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Crunch, and so much more will now be sold off to the highest bidder.
First hinted at over the summer, the decision comes at the conclusion of an internal strategic review by the Swiss company. According to Bloomberg, analysts expect the sales process to be “robust,” and estimate that the sale of their signature product line in the American market could net anywhere from one to three billion dollars. The company hopes to complete the sale in Q1 of 2018.
The divestment certainly seems like a surprise given that founder Henri Nestlé helped invent the milk chocolate bar in 1875, but they’re far from the only company feeling the pinch. Fellow Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Spruengli AG blamed flagging American sales for weak revenue projections earlier this year, and Hershey just paid $921 million for popcorn and potato chip company Amplify Snack Brands in a bid to diversify its portfolio amid evolving tastes.
Given Nestlé’s mention of potential bidders, it doesn’t seem like its iconic chocolate bar brands will be leaving store shelves for good. But with the market what it is, just know that your next impulse buy might help keep your favorite chocolate on the market. Why take the risk when you can treat yourself?