Smucker pleased with growth in Pillsbury, Hungry Jack

by Eric Schroeder
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BOSTON — It has been a little more than five years since the J.M. Smucker Co. acquired International Multifoods, but the Orrville, Ohio-based company continues to make great strides with the Pillsbury brand, said Richard Smucker, co-chief executive officer and executive chairman.

Mr. Smucker, speaking at the Sept. 9 Barclays Capital Back-to-School Conference in Boston, expanded on what the addition of Pillsbury has meant to J.M. Smucker.

"The investments we made in the brand following the acquisition in terms of product quality, improved packaging, new products and marketing support are now paying dividends," he said. "For example, in the frostings category we have steadily gained share over the past two years. New products are a key driver in the baking category, and to that point we are seeing good acceptance of our Pillsbury Easy Frost, Funfetti Cookie Mixes and Brownie Minis. These, coupled with gains in distribution and new placements, have resulted in volume increasing over 25% in each of the last two quarters. While we don’t expect rates like this in the long term, Pillsbury is well positioned to continue growing in the bakery category."

Another brand spurring growth is Hungry Jack.

"Hungry Jack continues to benefit from consumers eating at home," Mr. Smucker said. "Sales of pancake mixes and syrup average double-digit growth in fiscal 2009. The brand now contributes approximately $100 million in annual sales. Our ability to bundle the Hungry Jack brand alongside Folgers and Smucker in a successful cross-branded breakfast promotion also contributed to the brand’s strong performance during the first quarter."

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