Unilever, the parent company of products like Dove, Lipton and Ben and Jerry’s, has been shedding ownership of brands left and right. The latest brands to be sold by Unilever are Ragu and Bertolli Italian pasta sauces, which have been sold to Japanese food manufacturer Mizkan Group, primarily manufacturers of vinegar, vinegars, seasonings and sauces, for $2.15 billion.
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“The Ragu and Bertolli business leads the pasta sauce category in the United States, and we believe that the potential of both brands can be fully realized with Mizkan,” said Kees Kruythoff, the president of Unilever North America, in a statement.
If you’re scratching your heads wondering what a Japanese company would want to do with Italian-American companies primarily known for their jarred sauces, Mizkan has said that they are trying to diversify their international brand reach. No word yet on if this will affect Ragu or Bertolli.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi