PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Pinnacle Foods, Inc. continues to count on premium items to lead the resurgence of its Duncan Hines baking items.
Net sales of Duncan Hines baking products were down in the second quarter ended June 26 when compared with sales from the previous year’s second quarter. Yet sales strengthened sequentially versus the first quarter of the current year. Duncan Hines market share expanded 50 basis points in the second quarter and is up modestly for the first half. Retail consumption and market share trends improved as the second quarter progressed.
|Mark Clouse, c.e.o. of Pinnacle Foods|
“In the baking segment, our premium portfolio continued to perform well, driven by our Duncan Hines Perfect Size platform and an improvement in trend for the lower price segment of the business,” said Mark Clouse, chief executive officer of Pinnacle Foods, in a July 28 earnings call.
During the quarter the company added three new varieties to the Perfect Size platform: key lime pie, chocolate dream pie and cheesecake. Duncan Hines also entered the gluten-free segment with two new decadent varieties: chocolate lover’s brownies and vanilla cream cake.
“Our market share for this premium segment continued to be strong in the quarter with consumption up 15% driving a full share point increase,” Mr. Clouse said. “The improvement that we’re seeing at the low end of the category reflects our stepped-up focus on fundamentals, including retail merchandising and smart price GAAP management.”
EBIT in the second quarter for the Duncan Hines Grocery segment, which includes other brands such as Wish-Bone, increased 2.4% to $52,255,000 from $51,041,000. Strong productivity and items affecting comparability drove the growth. Net sales for the Duncan Hines Grocery segment dropped 2.7% to $270,471,000 from $277,994,000. The performance reflected lower volume/mix of 2.9% and unfavorable foreign currency translation of 0.3%, partially offset by increased net price realization of 0.5%.Parsippany-based Pinnacle Foods posted overall net sales of $756,381,000 in the quarter, up from $631,746,000 in the previous year’s second quarter. Net earnings of $45,783,000, or 39c per share on the common stock, marked a 5% increase from $43,679 million, or 38c per share, in the previous year’s second quarter.