Uncrustables still growing at torrid pace

by Josh Sosland
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ORRVILLE, OHIO — Maintaining its impressive growth rate, the Uncrustables brand of frozen sandwiches enjoyed 22% volume growth and 23% net sales growth in the first quarter ended July 31, versus the same period in 2013.

An update on Uncrustables was offered as part of the first-quarter financial results of The J.M. Smucker Co., which manufactures the Uncrustables brand.

“This marks the third quarter in a row where Uncrustables has grown in excess of 20% in this channel,” Vincent C. Byrd, president and chief operating officer, said in an Aug. 21 conference call. “We are currently in the midst of our key back-to-school promotional period and are encouraged by the programs we have in place and look forward to a successful conclusion to our overall spreads and Uncrustables businesses.”

On the other hand, Smucker experienced a decline in part of its Uncrustables business outside its retail foods segment.

“We saw a step up in the effect from exiting a portion of the school Uncrustables program,” Mr. Byrd said. “We anticipate the volume impact will increase further in the second quarter, given the ordering pattern associated with the start of a new school year. The impact will then moderate as the year progresses.”

Commenting on other parts of the U.S. Retail Consumer Foods business, Mr. Byrd said, “Profitability for baking mixes continued to improve due to the previously discussed change in our promotional strategy on cake.” Overall, net sales and volume for the Pillsbury brand rose 2% in the quarter, versus the same period a year earlier.

Crisco brand sales were up 10% and volume was up 11% in the first quarter.

“In the oils category, Crisco achieved a strong start to the fiscal year with volume growth of 11%, reversing recent downward performance in this price-sensitive category,” Mr. Byrd said.
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