- ConAgra Foods has agreed to sell Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings to Givaudan for approximately $340 million.
- The divestment is ConAgra's latest move in a series of changes meant to make it a leaner company that can better focus on its core portfolio. The transaction is expected to be finalized in 60 to 90 days following customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances.
- Following 14 years with ConAgra, executive vice president and chief financial officer, John Gehring, will retire — after a replacement has been found.
Spicetec is a smaller divestment than ConAgra's sell-off of its private-label brands business to TreeHouse Foods earlier this year for $2.7 billion. But it demonstrates what actions ConAgra will take to remove product segments it deems extraneous. This is in addition to its impending split into two companies, to separate its foodservice business from consumer brands.
Spices are also center store products, but the focus ConAgra is taking is more on its assorted grocery staple brands, such as Hunt's tomatoes, Slim Jim, Orville Redenbacher's popcorn, and David sunflower seeds. Last month, ConAgra signed each of those four brands up for Amazon Dash buttons, which shows ConAgra is committed to an online presence and e-commerce sales.
In its latest earnings report, ConAgra's first since removing the private-label business from its books, ConAgra's profit soared year over year while the reported uptick in sales beat analysts' estimates.
An increased focus on consumer brands is crucial for ConAgra to remain competitive. The company has developed products like organic Hunt's tomatoes and agreed to label GMOs ahead of Vermont's mandatory labeling law. Still, it lacks power brands, with many of its brands being second-tier to competitors' offerings in various segments, a Technomic exec told the Omaha World-Herald.