Campbell Soup sales surge as consumers stock up during pandemic

Soup sales in the U.S. rose 35%

Campbell Soup Co. said its sales rose for the third quarter as the company's canned food and snacks have flown off the shelves in recent months amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The Camden, N.J., company posted sales of $2.24 billion for the fiscal third quarter, up 15% from the comparable period last year. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $2.19 billion. Organic sales, which exclude the effect from the sale of the company's European chips business, rose 17%.

Soup sales in the U.S. rose 35% for the quarter, driving sales of meals and beverages up 20%. The company also sells Prego pasta sauce, V8 beverages and Pace Mexican sauces, among other products.

As customers ate at home amid shelter-in-place measures, they also stockpiled on Pepperidge Farm cookies and Goldfish crackers, for which Campbell has said it was facing supply-chain issues. That drove its snacks segment to grow 9%. Other snack products include Kettle Brand and Cape Cod potato chips and Snyder's of Hanover pretzels.

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Chief Executive Officer Mark Clouse said the company's household penetration rose more than six percentage points from the same quarter last year.

"In the quarter, we experienced unprecedented broad-based demand across our brands as consumers sought food that delivered comfort, quality and value," Mr. Clouse said.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CPBCAMPBELL SOUP CO.49.32+0.01+0.02%

The boost in snacks and canned-goods consumption helped Campbell accomplish its goal of getting customers to stock up on its iconic red-and-white cans of soup. Campbell and other big food makers have been trying to adapt to changing tastes after they lost customers to more health-conscious, artisanal brands.

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Profit for the period through April rose to $168 million, or 55 cents a share, from $84 million, or 28 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Adjusted earnings were 83 cents a share, ahead of the 74 cents a share analysts were targeting.