PepsiCo’s sales for the most recent quarter stayed flat, mostly because the effect of the pandemic on its business has been almost symmetrical, hurting and helping in equal measure.
Packaged-food sales, mostly through PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay and Quaker Oats units, were up 6.6%, mostly because consumers forced to quarantine at home have increased their consumption of snacks and pantry basics. But North American beverage sales were down 6.6%, in large part also due to the pandemic; consumers aren’t buying fountain drinks at restaurants, theaters and other venues. Total organic revenue for the quarter dropped 0.3%.
“This is going to be, you know, a roller coaster,” CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a call with analysts July 13.
PepsiCo’s quarter ended June 13, before a surge in cases of COVID-19 forced Texas and other states to reconsider opening restaurants and bars. Once the nation does start to reopen, PepsiCo expects to see beverage sales increase while packaged-food sales drop, CFO Hugh Johnston told the analysts.