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Dr. Oetker Sweetens Unilever Deal

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A French pastry

Unilever announced it has received a binding offer for the purchase of its Alsa baking and dessert business from Dr. Oetker.

France’s Sweet Tooth

Acquired in 2000 by Unilever, Alsa served the French markets with over 50 different products, including pastry aids, dairy desserts, cakes, jellies and other French pastries. Per the agreement, Dr. Oetker will assume control of the brand and its manufacturing unit in Ludres, France.

“Alsa is a brand whose know-how and product quality perfectly complement our product range. We would be happy to welcome Alsa into Dr. Oetker’s group. Our goal is to pursue the brand’s growth and development both in France and internationally, based on its know-how and innovation capabilities,” said Didier Muller, GM Dr. Oetker France.

Sweets Aren’t So Hot

The move to sell the Alsa brand comes at a time of similar changes in the market. Early this year, Nestlé sold its U.S. confections business to Ferrero. Additionally, at the end of 2017, Hershey purchased Amplify Snack Brands, Inc. and Campbell snacked up Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. In these cases, the companies cited a focus on cleaner and better-for-you products as among its reasons for selling.

“In the context of our global strategy to accelerate long-term, sustainable value creation, the baking and desserts category is not part of Unilever’s evolving core portfolio. We are confident that under Dr. Oetker’s ownership and support, Alsa, which has established a strong legacy in the world of desserts since its origins in 1897 in Lorraine, would be able to progress to its full potential,” said Bauke Rouwers, GM Unilever France.