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J.M. Smucker to exit brands, invest in high-growth areas in reboot

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Dec 10 (Reuters) - J.M. Smucker Co said on Thursday it would exit underperforming brands, invest in high-growth areas and create a dedicated pet food sales organization as part of a restructuring plan over the next 12-to-18 months.

The company, known for its Jif peanut butter and Folgers coffee, has benefited from a surge in demand as extended work-from-home policies and the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic prompt people to eat more at home.

"We are implementing a focused strategic plan, including reshaping our portfolio, streamlining our organization, and updating our commercial model," Chief Executive Officer Mark Smucker said in a statement.

The company, which is hosting a virtual investor day later on Thursday, said it would focus on generating $50 million of annual savings in each of the next three fiscal years.

The pet food business, which Smucker bolstered with premium products like Rachael Ray Nutrish dog and cat food through acquisitions, has been fighting for market share with rival General Mills' Blue Buffalo.

Smucker reiterated its sales and profit goals for fiscal 2021, and said it expects net sales growth of 2% and adjusted earnings to rise 8% in the long term. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)