Campbell Soup is considering selling its Godiva Chocolate business in order to focus upon its simple meals and healthier options, the company said yesterday.
Campbell said the chocolate business does not fit in with its focus on soup-based snacks and vegetable based beverages, and so it will "explore strategic alternatives" for the business.
"Although the premium chocolate category is experiencing strong growth and Godiva is well positioned for the future, the premium chocolate business does not fit in with Campbell's strategic focus," said the company's chief executive officer, Douglas Conant.
In July, Campbell's expanded its soup operations in China and Russia, two of the world's biggest soup consuming countries, in order to focus on markets that may help the business grow.
Earlier this year, the company also announced an agreement in North America where Coca-Cola would market Cambell's vegetable based juices in the region.
"It is the right time to explore strategic alternatives for Godiva as we continue to optimise Campbell's long-term growth potential by leveraging the competitive advantages of our simple meals, baked snacks, and vegetable-based businesses," Conant said yesterday.
Campbell's said the Godiva Chocolatier is one of the world's most recognised luxury brands with annual sales of around $500m (€365m).
Operating earnings for the third quarter were down $4m to $23m within Campbell's other businesses, which it said was due to declines in Godiva.
Sales were affected by storms over Valentine's Day, and the business saw increased costs due to marketing in Asia and North America, the company said earlier this year.
Campbell's Soup operates worldwide with annual revenues of around $7.3bn (€5.3bn).