JM Smucker sells strong-performing Crisco for $550m to B&G Foods to focus coffee, snacking & pet food

Along with Crisco products, trademarks and licensing agreements in the US, JM Smucker also will pass to B&G its ex-US oils and shortening business, which is primarily in Canada, dedicated manufacturing and warehouse facilities in Cincinnati and 160 employees who support the brand, according to the Oct. 26 announcement.

Smucker’s decision to sell Crisco is not a criticism of the brand’s business, which holds the No. 1 position in shortening and vegetable oil, and offers a strong cash flow with net sales reaching approximately $270m in fiscal year 2020 ended April 30. Crisco’s market position continued to strengthen in the first quarter of fiscal 2021 in which Smucker reported net sales grew more than 50%.

Rather, the sale was part of Smucker’s previously stated intent to exit the US baking category to better focus on other key growth areas.

“Crisco is an iconic brand that is beloved by consumers, and the business has been a solid contributor to our financial performance,”​ JM Smucker CEO Mark Smucker said in a statement. “However, our strategic priorities include an increased focus an allocation of resources toward pet food and pet snacks, coffee and snacking to maintain momentum in these categories.”

Smucker’s coffee business includes iconic brands Folgers, Dunkin’ and Café Bustelo – all of which grew double-digits in the first quarter, and which Smucker told analysts in August he expects will continue to grow in the second quarter as the company boosts production, adds more variety to store shelves and invests in marketing focused on new consumer acquisition. The company’s pet business also saw sold growth in the first quarter with cat food sales up 13% and dog snacks up 9%. At the same time, Smucker’s snacks and at-home consumer foods division also saw a 22% increase in sales with strong contributions from Uncrustables, frozen sandwiches, fruit spreads, ice cream toppings and Jif peanut butter products in the quarter.

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