Progresso and Helper on the block?

MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. is considering selling a portfolio of brands that includes Progresso soup and Helper dry packaged dinners with a goal of raising around $3 billion from the sale, according to an article on Bloomberg.

Citing people with knowledge of the discussions, Bloomberg said any potential deal would also include some smaller brands. Bloomberg said these same people expect interest in the brands to come from private equity firms.

Founded in 1925 by Vincent Taormina and Joseph Uddo, Progresso got its start specializing in canned Italian food products before expanding to include soups, olive oil, tomatoes, spaghetti, ravioli and beans. General Mills acquired Progresso as part of its $10.4 billion acquisition of Pillsbury in 2001.

Hamburger Helper, meanwhile, was introduced in the early 1970s in response to a meat shortage and rising meat prices. With its launch, General Mills claims to have created a new category — dry packaged dinners. General Mills shortened the brand’s name to just “Helper” in 2013.

General Mills has not commented on any potential sale.

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