General Mills Selling Off Green Giant, Le Sueur Vegetable Brands In $765M Deal

General Mills has had enough frozen and canned vegetables, it seems, as the company announced it’s selling off its Green Giant and Le Sueur brands for $765 million in cash. It’s been trying to move away from packaged food as consumers’ tastes have changed, and this appears to be one more way it’s shedding its old image as it looks for a new approach to selling food.

The new owner is B&G Foods, a company that owns brands like Molly McButter cheese flavoring and Pirate’s Booty, though General Mills said it will still operate Green Giant in Europe and other export markets under license from B&G, reports the Wall Street Journal.

With all the cash it’s getting in the deal, General Mills says it’s planning on funding share buybacks and reducing its debt. The company has been struggling to keep customers as tastes move away from packaged food like Hamburger Helper and toward foods with healthy, fresh ingredients. As it tries to play catch-up, General Mills has had to cut jobs and close down plants.

And though one might think parting with a brand that’s so familiar to shoppers would be a bad move — who doesn’t know the Jolly Green Giant? — General Mills said once it redirected resources away from supporting the brand, it reviewed the business and decided it just wasn’t as valuable as it once was.

The deal benefits B&G by giving it a stake in the frozen-food market, which it didn’t have previously.

General Mills to Sell Green Giant, Le Sueur for $765 Million [Wall Street Journal]