Kellogg sells Keebler and other brands for $1.3 billion

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This photo shows the packaging of containers of Keebler cookies in Glenside, Pa., Monday, April 1, 2019. Kellogg is selling its iconic Keebler cookie brand and other sweet snacks businesses to Ferrero for $1.3 billion. Kellogg is also selling its Mother's and Famous Amos cookie brands, as well as its fruit-flavored snack, pie crust and ice cream cone businesses. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Kellogg is selling Keebler cookies and other brands for $1.3 billion, about $2.6 billion less than it spent on that brand alone 17 years ago.

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Food producers are trying to find new brands with more growth potential after sweeping shifts in consumer taste, particularly in the U.S.

The value of household names like Keebler has deteriorated as families seek food and snack alternatives that are at least perceived to be healthier.

Along with Keebler, the Battle Creek, Michigan, company said Monday that it will sell Mother's and Famous Amos cookie brands, as well as its fruit-flavored snack, pie crust and ice cream cone businesses, to the Italian sweets maker Ferraro.

The brands generated sales of $900 million and profits of $75 million last year, according to Kellogg.

Kellogg acquired Keebler Foods, founded in 1853, in 2001 for $3.86 billion.

Ferrero is best known for the brand Nutella hazelnut cream. The company said Monday that it will also acquire six U.S. manufacturing plants from Kellogg.

The sale is expected to close by the end of July.