Western dressing

Pinnacle Foods has bought Unilever’s US salad dressing brands

Fmcg giant Unilever has sold its Wish-Bone salad dressings to Birds Eye owner Pinnacle Foods for £375m.

Wish-Bone’s dressings are sold widely in the US and comprise dry mix and liquid products, including its Western tomato, onion and garlic dressing.

Annual turnover for the Wish-Bone business is £122m, according to Unilever.

Unilever will continue to produce the products under a third-party agreement.

“Wish-Bone is an iconic brand and the number-one Italian dressings brand in the US. We believe that the potential of both the Wish-Bone and Western brands can now be more fully realised with Pinnacle Foods. As we continue to shape our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, this change will give us the focus to drive growth behind our core foods portfolio,” said Unilever North America president Kees Kruythoff.

The sale of its US dressings brands comes as Unilever seeks to build its presence in emerging markets. It recently boosted its stake in its publicly listed subsidiary Hindustan Unilever.

“This represents a further step in Unilever’s strategy to invest in emerging markets and offers a liquidity opportunity at what we believe to be an attractive premium for existing shareholders,” said Unilever CEO Paul Polman at the time.