CAMDEN, NJ. — The launch of Goldfish Mega Bites shone as a highlight of Campbell Soup Co.’s second quarter, but results were mixed in the Snacks business unit overall.
“Since the launch in January, Mega Bites achieved the fastest distribution growth in recent history of Goldfish innovation launches,” said Mark A. Clouse, president and chief executive officer, in a March 9 earnings call. “Early consumer repeat rates are promising as consumers who purchased once are already coming back to buy again. We launched in January with a highly impactful PR and social campaign, and within its first week alone, Mega Bites achieved over 1 billion earned media impressions. The full activation will run through the summer, and I have to say it feels good to return to what we do best, building our brands.”
Goldfish consumption increased by 9% in the quarter ended Jan. 30, but net sales in the Snacks unit decreased 3% to $934 million due to declines in non-core businesses and certain salty snacks, primarily the Late July brand. Supply constraints due to labor drove volume declines.
Supply constraints negatively impacted Late July snacks, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels and Lance sandwich crackers, Mr. Clouse said.
“We have taken actions to improve overall performance, including core SKU (stock-keeping unit) prioritization efforts to increase production while reducing complexity, as well as prioritizing plant labor recruiting, training and retention,” he said. “We feel confident these share headwinds are temporary as we’ve already seen strong improvement in our labor and production levels. As a result, we will return to our planned levels of investment through the back half of the fiscal year and expect to be fully back on track for what our snack brands do best, growing consumption and share.”Companywide, Camden-based Campbell Soup Co. achieved net earnings of $212 million, or 70¢ per share on the common stock, in the second quarter, which were down 13% from $245 million, or 81¢ per share, in the previous year’s second quarter. Net sales of $2.21 billion were down 3% from $2.28 billion in the previous year’s second quarter but up 2% from the second quarter of 2020. Organic net sales, excluding the impact from the sale of the Plum baby food and snacks business, fell 2% when compared with the previous year’s second quarter.