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December 16, 2021updated 21 Jan 2022 2:05pm

J.M. Smucker sells packaged grains business TruRoots to investor Nexus

The US$110m deal also includes the R.W. Knudsen juices brand and assets.

US food group J.M. Smucker has announced the sale of its TruRoots packaged rice, lentils and quinoa business to local investor Nexus Capital Management.

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The US$110m deal also includes the R.W. Knudsen juices brand and assets.

Collectively, the natural beverage and grains businesses generated net sales of approximately $140m for the fiscal year ended 30 April.

The transaction also sees manufacturing and distribution facilities in Chico, California, and Havre de Grace, Maryland, changing hands.

Smucker said the deal with Nexus also includes a licensing agreement for Santa Cruz Organic beverages but does not include deals for Santa Cruz Organic nut butters, fruit spreads, syrups or apple sauce.

In a related decision “to further optimise operations for the consumer-foods business”, Smucker said it plans to close and pursue the sale of its Ripon, Wisconsin, production facility in 2022 and consolidate production at its Orrville, Ohio, plant.

The Ripon facility employs around 160 people and makes preserves.

The newly-announced disposals come just a fortnight after Smucker announced the sale of its private-label dry pet-food business to Diamond Pet Foods for around $33m. It said that deal should be viewed as part of its “continued portfolio optimisation”.

Speaking about the grains and beverages deal, Tina Floyd, senior vice president and general manager, consumer foods, at Smucker said: “This transaction supports our strategy to direct investments and resources toward core brands positioned for growth.

“By focusing resources on our core brands, including Uncrustables sandwiches, Jif and Smuckers, we are positioning ourselves to build on our market leadership while continuing to support the growth of the overall category.”

Last month, Smucker announced plans to build a third manufacturing facility and distribution centre dedicated to the production of Uncrustables. The new plant will be in Alabama.

The Ohio company said it plans to grow the brand over the next five years to approximately $1bn in annual net sales.

Just Food has approached Nexus Capital Management seeking comment on its acquisition, outside of US office hours.

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