Kraft Heinz to sell Planters business, including Fort Smith operation

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,070 views 

Kraft Heinz announced Thursday (Feb. 11) a deal to sell its Planters and other nuts businesses to Hormel for $3.35 billion. The cash deal includes most Planters products and the Corn Nuts brand that contributed about $1.1 billion to Kraft Heinz sales last year.

Kraft Heinz said the deal, expected to close in the second quarter, is part of its multiyear turnaround effort to trim less popular product from its portfolio and focus on other snack brands like Lunchables and P3.

For Austin, Minn.-based Hormel, the maker of SPAM, Skippy, Wholly Guacamole and more than 30 other consumer brands, the Planter’s business will provide another snack brand as the company seeks to grow its snack portfolio amid growing demand for snack foods. Hormel Chairman, President and CEO Jim Snee said the acquisition broadens its scope for future deals in the snacking category.

“Planters is an iconic leading snack brand with universal consumer awareness,” Snee said in a statement. “The acquisition of the Planters business adds another $1 billion brand to our portfolio and significantly expands our presence in the growing snacking space.”

The Planters production facility in Fort Smith, which opened in January 1976 and employs at least 300, is one of three large production plants involved in the sale. The other two are in California and Virginia.

Kraft Heinz and Hormel are major suppliers to Walmart with local sales offices in Benton County. It is unclear how this deal might impact jobs with the Planters and Corn Nut brands.