B&G Foods sees opportunity in on-line

by Monica Watrous    View Me on Google+
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NEW YORK — With a well-stocked portfolio of packaged foods, B&G Foods, Inc. sees on-line as an opportunity for growth. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon have expanded the Parsippany, N.J.-based company’s reach into markets where its products may not be available.

“And so, to the extent that we have any number of brands that are not in full distribution nationally, Amazon gives access to people to buy those brands that they may be familiar with, but now they are in a different geography,” said Dave Wenner, president and chief executive officer, during a June 11 presentation at the Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference in New York. “It’s still relatively small, but we are seeing Amazon growing in terms of the amount of products they are ordering.”

Pirate’s Booty puffed snacks and B&M baked beans are among B&G Foods’ brands purchased on-line.

“I am constantly amazed how much Pirate’s Booty they are ordering, simply because it’s got to be very inefficient to ship Pirate’s Booty,” Mr. Wenner said. “I watch the orders, and there was an order the other day that had 100 cases of B&M baked beans going to one Amazon distribution center. I’m like, wow, that’s pretty impressive. That’s a lot of cans of baked beans that they are shipping out to somebody.”

B&G Foods also has sold products on mybrands.com, a web site offering national and regional brands that may be difficult to find in stores.

“(The concept is) you grew up in New England and love B&M baked beans, and now you find yourself in southern California, and good luck buying B&M baked beans,” Mr. Wenner said. “You go to My Brands and you can buy it there.”

Acknowledging challenged growth in the center-of-the-store, B&G Foods has benefitted from recent acquisitions and innovation efforts that have landed the company distribution in other channels, including warehouse clubs and convenience stores.

“People are buying food in different places,” Mr. Wenner said. “So to the extent your star is hitched to supermarkets, there are some very successful supermarket operators out there, but as a part of the industry, supermarkets are shrinking in their share of food, and everybody and anybody that has a reason to think you’re going to buy food in their venue is starting to sell more food, be it dollar stores, be it convenience stores, be it drugstores, and even to the point that there is some food in Home Depot now.”

On-line represents another opportunity, he added.

“It’s definitely something that’s growing, at least from our perception, and we think it broadens our markets in terms of a lot of our products being offered in places they're not offered today,” Mr. Wenner said.
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