Nestlé has said its decision to sell the Carnation canned milk business in Canada was due to the unit no longer being a core focus for the company.

Nestlé Canada has sold the rights to the Carnation canned and powdered milk brand - as well as the manufacturing site in Quebec - to US food group J. M. Smucker.

The sale, announced yesterday (1 October) comes as Nestlé's looks to position its global business more towards health and nutrition.

"After careful consideration, Nestlé Canada has decided to exit the canned and powdered milk business as it is no longer a strategic focus for our Canadian operation," said Bob Leonidas, president and CEO of Nestlé Canada.

Financial details were undisclosed although J. M. Smucker said the business acquired from Nestlé generates annual sales of around US$50m.

Tim Smucker, chairman and co-CEO, said the Carnation brand is an "excellent fit" with the J. M. Smucker portfolio, which also includes Robin Hood flour and Crisco olive oil.