Nestle exploring ‘strategic options’ for U.S. operations

WASHINGTON — There’s no telling what might happen to some of Nestle’s most popular candy bars if the company sells off its U.S. division.

According to Nestle, the company is exploring “strategic options” and plans to have a deal done by the end of 2017.

Nestle’s overall U.S. profits ring up to $27.3 billion in sales, however Toll House baking products bring in the largest haul at $929 million.

Nestle has made it clear the confectionary business will not be up for grabs in any deal.

Other products popular in the U.S. branch include Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Laffy Taffy and Nerds.

While selling off Butterfinger and Baby Ruth might shock American consumers, Nestle’s chocolate business in North America lags behind in global sales.

“Overall the move toward a disposal is not a surprise,” said Jon Cox, head of European consumer equities at Kepler Cheuvreux.

According to USA Today, Nestle products can be found in 191 countries and in 97 percent of American households.

Those figures might come as no surprise, considering Nestle sells far more than chocolate. Nestle brands include Nestle Pure Life, Purina, Coffee-Mate, Gerber and Stouffer’s.

“Nestle will continue to invest and grow in the U.S., where it has leadership positions across a large number of categories such as pet care, bottled water, frozen meals, infant food and ice cream,” the company said in a statement.

“Nestle will continue to innovate across these categories to meet rapidly-changing consumer demand.”

Nestle employs more than 51,000 people in 47 states.