CAMDEN, N.J. – Net sales within the Global Biscuits and Snacks segment of the Campbell Soup Co. increased 3% in the first quarter behind gains in Goldfish crackers and Pepperidge Farm cookies. Sales of $709 million in the quarter ended Oct. 29 compared with $690 million in the previous year’s first quarter. Operating earnings in Global Biscuits and Snacks increased 4% to $120 million.
|Denise Morrison, president and c.e.o. of Campbell Soup
“This division delivered growth on both the top and bottom lines,” said Denise M. Morrison, president and chief executive officer, in a Nov. 21 earnings call. “Sales gains were primarily driven by the continued solid performance of Pepperidge Farm. This sales growth was fueled by our snacks business, with a one-two punch from crackers and cookies.”
Goldfish became the No. 1 snack cracker in the category over the last quarter, she said.
“The brand's continued growth was fueled by our increasing ounces-into-houses approach,” Ms. Morrison said. “This is all about providing wholesome, delicious snacks that can be enjoyed in a variety of new packaging formats, including single-serve multipacks.”
The cookie business benefitted from the successful launch of the Farmhouse brand, Milano cookies and the rejuvenated Pepperidge Farm Chunk Cookie line, she said.
“The Farmhouse launch is one of Pepperidge Farm's best product introductions in over a decade with strong trial and repeat,” Ms. Morrison said. “Made with simple ingredients, this thin, crispy cookie is the type of snack consumers are seeking and has been incremental to the category. We employed a similar approach with our Pepperidge Farm Chunk Cookies. We improved our recipes using larger chocolate chunks and cage-free eggs while also updating and simplifying our packaging.”
Asia Pacific sales were mixed in the Global Biscuits and Snacks segment. Gains in Indonesia partly offset sales declines in Australia.
“We faced increased competitive activity in Australia's chocolate biscuits but delivered solid results in savory crackers behind the reintroduction of original shapes crackers where we gained share,” Ms. Morrison said.Companywide, Campbell Soup had net earnings of $275 million, or 91c per share on the common stock, which were down 6% from $292 million, or 95c per share on the common stock, in the first quarter of the previous year. Sales decreased 2% to $2,161 million from $2,202 million in the previous year’s first quarter.