US food giant Kraft Heinz is to sell its B2B powdered cheese business to Irish ingredients major Kerry Group for US$107.5m.

The deal includes a manufacturing facility in Albany in Minnesota. The 62 employees at the location will be transferred from Kraft Heinz to Kerry.

Beans, sauces and soup manufacturer Kraft Heinz said the sale of the powdered cheese unit – which was part of its ingredients business – “reflects the company’s ongoing and active portfolio optimisation”.

A Kraft Heinz spokesperson declined to comment on whether the company would look to sell more ingredients assets, or on the division’s annual sales.

The group’s Kraft Heinz Ingredients business supplies a range of cheese and dairy ingredients to food manufacturers, including processed cheese and soft cheese. Its ingredients arm also offers confectionery ingredients and condiments.

Kerry, meanwhile, said the acquisition enhances its “scale, manufacturing capability and customer base in the important snacking category”.

In 2020, Kraft Heinz sold a clutch of cheese brands to Lactalis, the French dairy heavyweight, for $3.2bn while at the same time announcing a wider “transformation plan” to grow more consistently. Lactalis subsequently had to sell two of the brands after a competition review.

Two years earlier, the Heinz soup maker sold its Canadian natural cheese business to Parmalat, the Italy-based dairy company majority-owned by Lactalis, for CAD1.62bn (then US$1.23bn).

Kraft Heinz continues to sell cheese products under brands including Kraft and Philadelphia.