- J.M. Smucker is selling four condiment brands to private label giant TreeHouse Foods for about $20 million, the companies said.
- The jam and peanut maker said it will divest its Bick's pickles, Habitant pickled beets, Woodman's horseradish and McLarens pickled onions brands to TreeHouse.
- The sale continues what has been a busy year for Smucker as the Ohio-based company sharpens its portfolio and focuses more on offerings that generate faster rates of growth.
Smucker has been especially active during the last month, adding and subtracting assets to its portfolio that includes strongholds such as Jif peanut butter, Uncrustables and Folgers coffee.
In September, it announced the sale of Sahale Snacks, a maker of fruit and snack mixes, for about $34 million. Just two weeks earlier, Smucker said it was purchasing Hostess Brands for about $5.6 billion to deepen its presence in growing categories and consumer occasions focused on convenience. These deals came a few months after Smucker offloaded a portion of its pet food business for $1.2 billion to Post Holdings.
The brand sales, in particular, have largely centered on offerings that are slow-growing or non-core to Smucker’s larger business. The company then invests the cash it receives in other parts of its operation while further honing its focus on key areas.
Tim Wayne, senior vice president and general manager, Away From Home, Canada and International, said the decision will allow Smucker to increase its focus on growing its position in the coffee, spreads, frozen handheld and pet categories in Canada.
The brands included in the transaction generated net sales of approximately $60 million during Smucker’s most recent fiscal year.
For TreeHouse, the acquisition continues a recent trend of building scale in certain food and beverage categories to give it a wider breadth of items to sell to its customers.
In 2023, TreeHouse has purchased a small pretzel manufacturer for $14 million that makes private-label seasoned pretzels, an addition that complemented its traditional, filled and chocolate-covered pretzel business.
It also acquired a coffee facility for $100 million. The plant brought roasting, grinding, flavoring and blending capabilities to TreeHouse, which already had a presence in single-serve pods and ready-to-drink coffees.
The Smucker’s transaction further builds out TreeHouse’s existing pickles business.
"This acquisition of assets is consistent with our strategy and enhances TreeHouse Foods' depth in our growing pickles category, allowing us to expand into Canada and thus positioning TreeHouse for continued success," said Steve Oakland, TreeHouse’s CEO.
It hasn't all been acquisitions for TreeHouse. It sold a significant portion of its meal-prep business to a private-equity firm for $950 million in 2022 to improve its balance sheet and focus on its trendier snacks and beverage portfolio of crackers, pretzels, creamers, coffee and hot cereal, among other items.
The unit, which made up about 30% of the company’s sales, included offerings like pasta, red sauces, syrup and pourable dressings. While the division was a reliable cash generator, it was a slow-growing, low-margin business.