Nestlé said on Thursday that it was considering a sale of its American candy business, the home of treats that include Gobstoppers, Nerds and Butterfinger and Crunch bars as demand for sweets has fallen off in the United States.
Nestle said it’s exploring strategic options and plans to have a deal done by the end of 2017, but it made it clear that any deal won’t include Toll House baking products.
In a statement, Nestlé said that it remained committed to the American market, where it sells pet food and bottled water, and where it had more than US $27 billion in sales across all its businesses last year.
But the candy business has waned as fewer Americans have displayed an appetite for sweets, and chocolate in particular. Sales in the Nestlé confectionary unit fell last year, to about US $922 million.
The company, which was founded in 1866, is currently in 191 countries around the world, according to its website. In the US, it employees more than 51,000 people in 47 states.