Sara Lee Corp., the US food group, today (30 March) revealed plans to “carefully evaluate” the future of its international household and body care business.

The admission comes two weeks after rumours emerged that Sara Lee was mulling a disposal off a business that includes brands like Sanex and Ambi Pur.

The group, which has a food portfolio including Hillshire Farm lunch meat and Sara Lee bread, said it is considering “all alternatives” for the business, including “the option to divest” the unit.

“In keeping with our commitment to value creation, we will carefully evaluate all opportunities and do what is in the best interest of the company and its stakeholders,” Sara Lee chairman and CEO Brenda Barnes said.

Sara Lee is in the process of lowering costs and driving efficiency under a separate programme dubbed “Project Accelerate”.

At a conference last month, Barnes said the company would place greater emphasis on the value of its products in a bid to appeal to cost-conscious consumers in the current economic downturn.

Last month, Sara Lee also revealed it was evaluating its product portfolio and trimming unprofitable lines.