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Is Oscar Mayer on the Sales Block?

Sources tell WSJ that Kraft Heinz is bringing in advisors to explore a possible sale of that business
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Oscar Mayer stuffed dogs
As chatter emerged about a possible sale, Oscar Mayer continues to innovate, recently rolling out new stuffed dogs.

Reports are circulating that two legacy food brands may be splitting up. According to a story in The Wall Street Journal, The Kraft Heinz Co. is weighing a possible sale of its Oscar Mayer packaged meats unit, which has been a part of the Kraft family of brands since 1989.

Citing sources close to the discussions, WSJ reported that the deal could be worth between $3 and $5 billion. A team of financial experts, including analysts from Bank of America BAC, is allegedly reviewing options for a potential deal or spinoff.

Oscar Mayer’s venerable meats business includes a portfolio of hot dogs, ham, bacon and bologna. While changing consumer eating habits have curbed growth in some categories in recent years, Oscar Mayer bacon remains the second most popular brand behind private label offerings. The group’s R&D team remains busy, too: In early May, Oscar Mayer introduced a line of Stuffed Dogs in three flavors, and in March, launched the brand’s first plant-based products called NotHotDogs and NotSausages. 

[RELATED: Bacon Goes Upscale]

The rumored sale of the iconic Oscar Mayer unit comes as Kraft Heinz has been fending off challenges. On May 1, the company released its first quarter earnings report showing a net sales decrease of 1.2% compared to the previous year and a 4.7% decline in operating income. In that report, Kraft Heinz reaffirmed its outlook for organic net sales, adjusted operating income and adjusted EPS for FY2024.

Kraft Heinz shared a statement on the day of the story: “We do not comment on market rumors or speculation.”

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