BOCA RATON, FLA. — J.M. Smucker Co. is well positioned to deliver continued growth amid the ongoing shift toward eating at home thanks to the strength of nine No. 1 brands in the United States and eight in Canada, company executives said Feb. 18 at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference in Boca Raton.
Whether it be coffee, fruit spreads, oils, or baking items, Smucker has plans for category growth, said Vincent Byrd, president of Coffee Strategic Business Area.
Despite the pressure being felt in the peanut butter category, Mr. Byrd said Smucker has experienced less of a decrease in volume than the overall category. The company has run advertisements in USA Today and 100 major market newspapers reassuring consumers that Jif brand peanut butter is not associated with the peanut-related recall, he said. In addition, the company plans to expand its presence in peanut butter with the launch of Jif Natural.
"This product is a perfect choice for naturally-minded consumers who are looking for a no-stir offering," Mr. Byrd said of Jif Natural.
Convenience also has come into play in the company’s fruit spreads business. Mr. Byrd said Smucker has expanded distribution of its Jif-to-Go product and introduced a reduced-fat version.
"Jif-to-Go has been well received by consumers and offers a great product for snacking or on-the-go meals," he said. "Overall, the combined fruit spread business remains solid and we feel confident about its long-term continued growth."
Mr. Byrd said Smucker feels good about its oils and baking business. The trend that currently has consumers returning to at-home cooking, baking and eating meals together "clearly favors Smucker’s portfolio of baking brands in the short term, but also allows us to strengthen our equity for the longer term," he said.
In terms of baking, he said Smucker is focused on the Pillsbury and Eagle brands. The company continues to bring new consumers to the category through the launch of its expanded line of reduced-sugar Pillsbury cakes and frostings.
Since closing the acquisition of Folgers on Nov. 6, 2008, Smucker has been busy integrating the coffee business, a process Mr. Byrd said is progressing as planned. While integration has been the focus, he said Smucker is shaping its plans for moving the business forward. A few highlights include:
• Reestablishing the focus on the Folgers red can.
• Evaluating the company’s strategy to determine the best way to position Millstone, Folgers Gourmet and Dunkin’ Donuts brands.
• Looking at improving efficiencies in the entire supply chain.
• Pursuing opportunities in other markets and channels, most notably food service in Canada.