Campbell CEO expects elevated demand to continue after soup sales soar 35%
Sales of Campbell Soup’s iconic broths and chowders soared 35% during the company’s fiscal third quarter, thanks to changes in consumer behavior brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
And even as the states reopen their economies and warmer summer weather starts to hit the country, CEO Mark Clouse expects elevated demand for its products to continue.
“Even if consumption is a bit down, I would expect shipments to outrun that as we replenish inventory levels in our retailers,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Wednesday.
Consumers stocked up on Campbell’s canned soups and other goods during the early phase of the pandemic lockdown. Then, as they shifted into looking for cheap and easy meals, they repeated their purchases of Campbell’s products, according to Clouse.
“We do expect the stickiness, if you will, of these behaviors to continue moving forward,” he said.
Like many other Big Food companies, Campbell’s has struggled in recent years to adapt to changing consumer tastes. Americans were avoiding the aisles in the center of grocery stores, instead opting for fresh options.
The pandemic has reversed those consumption trends, reviving sales for products that had fallen out of favor, like Kraft Heinz’s mac and cheese and General Mills’ cereal. But it’s too early to tell if consumers’ buying habits will be permanently altered.
Shares of the company fell nearly 5% in morning trading despite it raising its 2020 outlook and topping analysts’ earnings estimates. The stock, which has a market value of nearly $15 billion, is up less than 1% since the start of the year. Over the past year, it has gained nearly 33%.