Hormel closes on Skippy buy

Skippy is officially a Hormel brand.

Hormel Foods Corp. announced Thursday the closing of its Skippy peanut butter acquisition in the United States from Unilever United States Inc., of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

This closing includes the Little Rock, Ark., manufacturing facility and all sales worldwide, except sales in China. Hormel expects to close the acquisition of the China-based Skippy business by the end of the fiscal year.

Total annual sales for Skippy are expected to be about $370 million, with nearly $100 million of those sales outside the U.S. Hormel announced the purchase, at about $700 million, on Jan. 3, just months after Unilever announced in October 2012 its intention to sell the brand.

The Skippy domestic line consists of 11 varieties of peanut butter. The brand, first introduced in 1932, holds the No. 2 U.S. share in this growing center-of-the-store category, and is the leading brand in the faster growing subcategory of natural peanut butter. Peanut butter is a $2 billion category with a 74 percent household penetration and is the second most popular sandwich behind ham in the United States.

Internationally, Skippy is the leading brand in China and is sold in more than 30 other countries on five continents.

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