Kraft Heinz in talks to sell Planters snack business for about $3 billion

Kraft Heinz Co is in talks to sell its Planters snack business to Skippy peanut butter maker Hormel Foods Corp for about $3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported here on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal could be announced as soon as next week if talks do not fall apart, the Journal said, adding that the deal would be Hormel’s largest to date.

Planters, which mainly sells nuts and snack mixes with labels featuring its popular Mr. Peanut mascot, would be the latest addition to Hormel’s portfolio that includes chillis, frozen meats and condiments.

Sales of pantry staples surged at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers prepared for lockdowns, but have since waned as restrictions were lifted, leading to companies restructuring their businesses accordingly.

Kraft Heinz in September sold its natural cheese business to France’s Groupe Lactalis for $3.2 billion, while Mondelez International Inc bought chocolate-bar maker Hu Master Holdings last month.

Kraft and Hormel declined to comment on the report.