Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has confirmed that it is evaluating options for its US-based Brach's unit.

Brach's, which was acquired for US$16m in 2003, has targeted own brand chocolate production. However, the US confectionery environment has proven resistant to the growth of retailer brand sales.

A spokesperson for the company told just-food that it has commissioned a study into options for its US chocolate unit. "These options could well include expansion through co-manufacturing and outsourcing arrangements," the company said. The possibility of a sale was not ruled out.