Campbell Confirms Noosa Yogurt Business for Sale – Food Processing

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Ever since Campbell Soup Co. acquired Sovos Brands (starting last summer), the latter’s Noosa yogurt business stood out as a questionable fit. In Campbell’s third-quarter earnings call on June 5, company officials confirmed they are looking to unload the whole-milk, Australian-style yogurt.

“The Noosa business has been one of the more positive surprises in the Sovos Brands acquisition,” CEO Mark Clouse told financial analysts. “Even though we have decided to explore strategic alternatives for the business, as yogurt’s not a strategic category for Campbell’s, the business has truly exceeded our expectations.

“It is an excellent product and brand that continues to perform very well,” he continued. “In fact, in the quarter, the Noosa spoonable business returned to dollar growth, driven by the success of its 8-oz. yogurt. Additionally, the 8-oz. yogurt has now experienced 14 quarters of consecutive dollar consumption growth.”

The divestment is no surprise, but the rest of the Sovos products – Rao’s pasta sauces and Michael Angelo’s frozen dinners – appear to be fitting in well and contributing to mixed financial results for Campbell in the quarter ended April 28. Sales were up 6% to $2.369 billion, but earnings before taxes were down 2%, to $248 million, and are running 11% behind for the nine months of the company’s current fiscal year.

While Campbell announced the $2.7 billion  Sovos Brands acquisition last Aug. 7, the deal didn’t fully close till March 12. Clouse did not mention a timetable nor potential buyers for the Noosa business.

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