Nestle may sell the U.S. division responsible for such beloved candy bars as Baby Ruth and Butterfinger, according to USA Today.
The world’s biggest food and beverage company said in a statement Friday that it’s exploring “strategic options” for a deal it plans on having done by 2017’s end.
“Nestle will continue to invest and grow in the U.S., where it has leadership positions across a large number of categories such as pet care, bottle water, frozen meals, infant food and ice cream,” the company said.
“Nestle will continue to innovate across these categories to meet rapidly-changing consumer demand.”
Twitter users reacted with dismay at the news Nestle may offload some of its most delicious brands.
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported that Nestle’s candy unit may be worth up to $3 billion based on analysts’ valuation of similar businesses.
Nestle ranked fourth in U.S. candy sales last year, according to Euromonitor International, trailing behind Hershey, Mars, and Mondelez.
The Swiss company’s roster of treats includes other sweets like Crunch bars, Nerds and Sweettarts.
Nestle said Thursday that it’s U.S. confections business netted about $922 million in sales last year, or roughly 3 percent of its total American sales.
The U.S. is reportedly Nestle’s largest market overall, producing annual sales of approximately $27 billion from 51,000 employees and 87 factories.
Mark Schneider became Nestle’s CEO in January after having spent years as a healthcare company executive.
Nestle purportedly aims at promoting healthier foods more aggressively and make some of its best-selling products more attractive to health-conscious buyers.