Smucker is saying goodbye to the Pillsbury Doughboy

Smucker is saying goodbye to the Pillsbury Doughboy
Posted at 9:32 PM, Jul 09, 2018

J.M. Smucker is offloading the Pillsbury Doughboy and other baking brands.

The company -- known for products like Smucker's jam, Jif peanut butter and Folgers coffee -- announced Monday that it would sell its baking business to private equity firm Brynwood Partners for $375 million.

The deal includes the Pillsbury, Hungry Jack, Martha White, White Lily and Jim Dandy brands, Smucker said in a statement.

The move comes during a period of turmoil for big food brands, which are facing challenges navigating shoppers' changing tastes.

Smucker's CEO, Mark Smucker, said selling the baking business will help the more than 120-year-old company focus on bolstering its pet food, coffee and snack offerings.

"While the decision to divest these brands was difficult, it underscores our commitment to allocating resources toward those areas of the business critical to our growth," he said.

The Pillsbury Doughboy, originally known as Poppin' Fresh, first appeared in TV commercials more than 50 years ago.

The Pillsbury baking products Brynwood is getting its hands on include flour, dry baking mixes and ready-to-spread frosting.

Unlike the other brands Brynwood is buying from Smucker, Pillsbury is licensed from General Mills.

The deal includes a 650,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Toledo, Ohio, Brynwood said in a statement.

"The iconic portfolio of brands and the company's strong Mid-Western manufacturing footprint will provide us with a solid platform to invest in and to grow," said Brynwood CEO Henk Hartong III.

The firm already owns several brands familiar to grocery shoppers, including the maker of SunnyD and Juicy Juice.

It's the latest in a series of deals in the food industry.

Nestle said in January it was selling nearly $3 billion worth of its US candy brands, including Butterfinger, BabyRuth and Nerds, to Ferrero, the maker of Nutella.

And late last month, ConAgra Brands, the maker of Chef Boyardee and Orville Redenbacher's, announced it was buying Pinnacle Foods, the parent company of Birds Eye and Duncan Hines, in a deal worth nearly $11 billion.