Ferrero to acquire Kellogg’s cookie brands

Global confectionery group Ferrero announced on 1 April that it had agreed to buy the cookie, fruit snack, ice cream cone and pie crust businesses of Kellogg Company for US$1.3bn.

The acquisition – expected to close in the second half of the year – includes the Keebler and Famous Amos cookie brands, Fruity Snacks, and Keebler’s ice cream cones and pie crust products.

The Nutella spread manufacturer said that these businesses generated around US$900M of sales in 2018.

Additionally, Ferrero will also acquire six US food manufacturing facilities and a leased manufacturing plant in Baltimore, Maryland.

CNBC said that in the past two years, Ferrero had built up its presence in the USA, buying Ferrara Candy Co for US$1bn and Nestle’s US candy business for US$2.8bn.

The latest deal was part of Ferrero’s US strategy to buy and modernise brands that had been neglected within broader food companies. The Italian group released a “better Butterfinger” candy bar last year with a new recipe with no hydrogenated oils, Eater reported.

“We are acquiring a portfolio of well-established brands that consumers love, with very strong market positions across their respective categories, allowing us to significantly diversify our portfolio and capitalise on exciting new growth opportunities in the world's largest cookies market,” Ferrero Group CEO Lapo Civiletti said in a statement.

Ferrero manufactures chocolate and confectionery products around the world, with 23 manufacturing plants and a turnover of €10.5bn in 2017.

It uses around 160,000 tonnes/year of palm oil, around 0.3% of global consumption, Oliver Charrier, global president of marketing and innovation for Nutella, said in November 2017.