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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nestle, Haagen-Dazs Join Forces

LONDON -- Swiss food giant Nestle on Thursday announced an ice cream joint venture in the United States with Pillsbury's Haagen-Dazs aimed at narrowing the gap on global ice cream leader Unilever PLC/NV.

Analysts said this was a logical move uniting two ranges of complementary products in a fragmented U.S. market.

The venture will link Nestle's novelty, or hand-held, ice cream bars together with Haagen-Dazs' tubs of luxury frozen desserts in the world's largest ice cream market, worth an estimated annual $11 billion in sales.

The two businesses are of similar size and had combined sales of around $600 million in 1998.

Nestle, with its strong distribution system as the world's biggest food company, would help put Haagen-Dazs products on more shelves in U.S grocery stores, while its own products, such as Nestl? Crunch and Drumsticks, would also get a boost.