Campbell eyes push from Pepperidge

by Eric Schroeder
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NORWALK, CONN. — Fresh off a strong first half to fiscal 2014 that included earnings and sales growth of 4% and 10%, respectively, in its Global Baking and Snacking division, Campbell Soup Co. envisions continued momentum in the back half of the year behind strength in Pepperidge Farm.

“We expect Pepperidge Farm to deliver stronger growth in snacks in the second half,” Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer of Pepperidge parent Campbell Soup Co., said during a Feb. 14 conference call with analysts. “We have plans to drive Goldfish with aggressive promotional activity, increase customer-supported merchandising and accelerated channel expansion.

“Pepperidge Farm will increase innovation with new varieties and packs of Goldfish, the national roll-out of Goldfish Mac & Cheese, and further expansion of Goldfish Puffs.”

Ms. Morrison cited Goldfish Puffs as one of the company’s better introductions, adding the snack product has largely met expectations.

“Inclusive of new products, Goldfish was up 5%,” Ms. Morrison said. “So, Puffs certainly helped contribute to that sales growth.”

Although targeted toward teenagers, Jennifer Driscoll, vice-president of investor relations, added Goldfish Puffs have appealed to a slightly older consumer, which she said is more incremental for Pepperidge.

Ms. Morrison said the Pepperidge Farm brand also will get a boost in the second half from an expansion of the Dessert Shop cookies line, as well as the launch of Coffee Shop cookies, which she described as “indulgent morning offerings.”

Operating earnings in the Global Baking and Snacking unit totaled $88 million in the second quarter ended Jan. 26, up 19% from $74 million in the same period a year ago. Sales rose 14% to $639 million, which compared with $561 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.
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