Ok, don't panic, but this has the potential to be devastating. Nestlé, the Swiss giant and creator of essentially all things delicious, is considering selling its U.S. confectionary business after failing to increase profits in the last four years. That's right, some your movie theater favorites (including Butterfingers! gasp!) may soon become unavailable. Nestlé released the news in a press release, in which they said that they will "explore strategic options for its U.S. confectionery business, including a potential sale."
So, what exactly would happen if Nestlé were to sell its U.S. business? Well, the candy products we all know and love wouldn't necessarily be off of shelves forever, but they could change depending on who the buyer is. The buyer would have the choice to change the brand names, of course, but more importantly (for our purposes) they would have the choice to change the recipes as well. Which would be upsetting, to say the least.
The news only gets worse: the candies affected by this are basically the best ones. The list that would affected by the sale includes Butterfingers, BabyRuths, 100Grands, SkinnyCow, Raisinets, Chunky, OhHenry!, SnoCaps, SweeTarts, LaffyTaffy, Nerds, FunDip, PixyStix, Gobstoppers, BottleCaps, Spree, and Runts. I mean, I don't think anyone really eats Sprees or Runts, but the rest of those are certifiably delicious.
But, to reiterate, the U.S. confectionary business as not been bought yet, so for now, you are still free to purchase as much of Nestlé's sugary goodness as physically possible. And, to make you feel even better, this sale wouldn't include their Toll House or Kit Kat brands (which are considered to be global). Phew. If someone were to tell me that I could no longer shovel Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough into my mouth with a spoon like a barbarian, I honestly don't think my poor little heart could take it.
On the business end, the decision to possibly sell the U.S. confectionary business seems to come from its lack of profit in recent years. This is seen as a result of a large health-food trend occurring in America, which has caused Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider to want to move toward healthier brands. How wonderful, right? More chia seeds and less chocolate, please! Having started as CEO in January as an outsider (he previously worked in the healthcare industry), this would be Schneider's first big move in the position.
With annual sales of the confectionary business coming to around $920 million, the profits have not quite been cutting it. “Rather than making the significant investment needed to be a leader in U.S. confectionery, it is the right time to focus on other growth opportunities,” Nestlé said. They added that they would continue their U.S. investments in pet care, bottled water, frozen meals, infant food and ice cream. Ooh, fun. Who needs Butterfingers when you can stock up on cat food and diapers?
While doomsday is not yet upon is, the threat feels imminent. We'll be keeping our eyes on Nestlé's business transactions, and in the meantime, will start eating BabyRuths like our lives depend on it.