B&G Foods has announced the sale of the ambient element of its Green Giant vegetable product line in the US to Seneca Foods.

Seneca, a supplier of branded and private-label packaged fruit and vegetables, has been the long-time co-manufacturer for shelf-stable Green Giant products in the US.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed but B&G said it will retain ownership of the Green Giant trademarks. It will license the Green Giant brand name to Seneca.

B&G stressed the sale does not include its Green Giant frozen, Green Giant Canada or Le Sueur business.

CEO Casey Keller said: “Our decision to sell the US shelf-stable product line of the Green Giant brand is part of our ongoing effort to divest product lines that are non-core to B&G Foods’ long-term strategy and reduce long-term debt.”

“We believe that Seneca Foods, the long-time, primary co-manufacturer for the Green Giant US shelf-stable product line, is the right owner for the US shelf-stable product line. We continue to believe in the power of the iconic Green Giant brand and the sale will allow our Green Giant team to focus on Green Giant frozen, Green Giant Canada and the Le Sueur brand.”

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In looking to use the net proceeds from the sale for the repayment of long-term debt, B&G is echoing comments it made last December when it sold US snacks business Back to Nature to pasta giant Barilla.

That deal followed B&G reorganising into four business units: spices and seasonings, meals, frozen, and vegetables and speciality. Its debts then were said to be $2.4bn.

Paul Palmby, CEO of Seneca Foods, added: “We are excited to add the iconic Green Giant brand and shelf-stable products to our portfolio of canned vegetable offerings. Having co-manufactured much of this product for B&G Foods for many years, we have long admired the strength of the brand in the market and look forward to its continued success.”

Announcing its third-quarter results yesterday (8 November), B&G recorded net sales of $502.7m, 4.9% down year-on-year. Net losses widened from $59.6m a year ago to $82.7m, while adjusted EBITDA was marginally up at $80.4m.

Its latest guidance for 2023 net sales is in the range of $2.05bn to $2.07bn. Previous guidance suggested sales of $2.11bn to $2.13bn.

B&G did not announce an up-to-date debt figure.

Seneca’s most recent results were for the three months ending 1 July. These revealed net sales of $298.7m, versus $265.2m year on year. EBIT was up from $6.7m 12 months earlier to $30.2m.