PARSIPPANY, N.J. — B&G Foods plans to launch a new product that involves microwaving a tortilla to turn it into a bowl. Consumers then may add salad or any type of Mexican entree to the tortilla bowl.
“So a restaurant-style experience in the home, probably the biggest innovation in the category since taco shells themselves, and that’s gotten tremendous reception from our customers,” said Kenneth G. Romanzi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for B&G Foods, in a May 3 earnings call to discuss first-quarter results.
Net sales for the Ortega brand rose 4% when compared to the previous year’s first quarter.
“We had a very strong turnaround in the first quarter from Ortega,” said Bruce C. Wacha, chief financial officer and executive vice-president of finance.
Mr. Romanzi added, “There's a couple of things about Ortega. No. 1, last year we missed on some key promotional price points. So we just sharpened up our promotional calendar and got more competitive, and the brand really responded in some of those more sensitive categories like shells, but we also had some nice innovation in the shells area and in taco sauce. We're a leader in taco sauce. So we gained new distribution on those, and they're performing well.”
Companywide, Parsippany-based B&G Foods posted net income of $20.5 million, or 31c per share on the common stock, in the quarter ended March 31, which was down from $32.8 million, or 49c per share, in the previous year’s first quarter. Net sales increased to $431.7 million from $412.3 million.
Net sales of Back to Nature, acquired on Oct. 2, 2017, contributed $20 million. Net sales of Cream of Wheat rose 11%. Net sales of Pirate Brands decreased 18% in the first quarter, largely due to the timing of promotional activities.