Center-Store Processors See Surge

July 1, 2020
Companies with products that appeal to consumers stuck at home continue to do well.

As financials roll in for the quarter covering the pandemic crisis, companies with products that appeal to consumers stuck at home continue to do well.

General Mills saw sales reach $5.02 billion in sales in the quarter ending May 31, up 21% from the same quarter last year. Refrigerated baked goods, soups and flour did especially well. In an analyst call, General Mills attributed this surge to the pandemic and said it is tracking factors like the emergence of a second wave and the development of a vaccine.

Conagra Brands posted a 26% increase in sales, to $3.29 billion, for the quarter ending May 31 compared with last year. Among its biggest gainers were Chef Boyardee canned pastas, with a 62% in retail sales over the same quarter last year, and Hebrew National processed meats, at 39%. CEO Sean Connolly said that many shoppers who are trying Conagra products for the first time are coming back to them.

McCormick & Co. had a sales increase of 7.6% in its second quarter compared with last year. Its results reflected a strong surge in retail sales combined with a sharp drop in foodservice demand. But the retail growth is so strong that the company will transition all of its factories to 24-hour operation and add co-manufacturers.

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