Hain Celestial has sold its Thinsters cookie business to fellow US food group J&J Snack Foods.

The disposal of Thinsters, which Hain acquired in 2021, is part of efforts to “optimise” its “better-for-you” portfolio and reduce debts, the company said.

J&J Snack Foods said the acquisition “strengthens [its] position as a leader in providing America’s favorite delicious and fun snacks”.

Financial details were not disclosed.

In a statement, Hain Celestial said the sale “further refines Hain’s uniquely positioned portfolio of better-for-you brands across five growth categories: snacks, baby & kids food, beverages, meal preparation and personal care”.

“Divesting Thinsters further streamlines our supply chain network and strengthens our ability to focus our efforts on driving greater reach and scale of our core better-for-you brands across our categories of focus,” Hain Celestial president and CEO Wendy Davidson said.

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Last May, the company incurred a $156.6m non-cash impairment charge on its Thinsters cookie brand as well as its ParmCrisps snacks, partly resulting in a third-quarter net loss of $115.7m, compared to a $24.5m profit a year earlier.

Hain Celestial acquired the brands late in 2021 from US business That’s How We Roll, paying $259m for the assets.

When Davidson took over the group last year, she discussed with Just Food some future growth plans for individual businesses.

She said: “If they’re in the portfolio, we should expect them to grow. The question is, how much should they be expected to grow? And how much would it cost us so that you disproportionately invest where you can drive greater growth. But it doesn’t mean that we’re willing to watch businesses whittle down to nothing.”

In February, Hain Celestial reported the financial results for its fiscal second quarter, a period when its sales in North America fell more than 5%.

The snacks division contributed to the sales decline as Hain Celestial “shifted our promotional strategy and optimised our channel mix for improved trade efficiency and profitability”.

J&J Snack Foods president and CEO Dan Fachner said the company was "thrilled" to buy the Thinsters brand.

"This acquisition is a natural fit for us, complementing our already vast offering of cookies and baked goods. Thinsters' dedication to using high-quality, wholesome ingredients resonates perfectly with our growing customer base. We look forward to leveraging our strengths to expand distribution and introduce Thinsters cookies to a wider audience," he said.

In February, J&J Snack Foods reported a 0.9% dip in its first-quarter net sales to $348.3m. Operating income grew 3.8% to $9.7m. Net earnings were 9.8% higher at $7.3m.

During the company's last full financial year, it generated a 12.9% rise in net sales to $1.56bn. Operating income jumped 77.2% to 109.5m. Net earnings were up 67.1% at $78.9m.