Nestle confectionery
Nestle may sell its U.S. confectionery unit by the end of March 2018.

VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A. has completed a strategic review and now plans to sell its U.S. confectionery unit by the end of the first quarter, said Lydia Méziani, senior corporate spokesperson for the Vevey-based company. She said a “robust sale process” is under way.

Nestle last June announced plans to explore strategic options for its U.S. confectionery business, and at that time the company said plans could include a potential sale. The U.S. confectionery business, which had sales of about 900 million Swiss francs in 2016, includes numerous brands, including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, 100 Grand, Skinny Cow, Raisinets, Chunky, Oh Henry! and Sno-Caps.

Through the first nine months of 2017, Nestle’s organic sales in North America were flat compared to the same nine-month period of 2016. Coffee creamers, pet care, U.S. frozen food and pizza businesses generated growth, which was offset by declines in confectionery and ice cream.