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Monday, September 21, 2020

CPG in Pandemic Growth and Challenges

And piece related to previous item regards growth and inventory post Pandemic.

For giant food companies, the pandemic has fueled growth — and challenges

Theresa F. Lindeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The past six months have been both a bonanza and a trial for the giant food companies that make products like cereal, canned soup, and macaroni and cheese. 

Pre-pandemic, there had been talk of their growing irrelevance, despite iconic brands and supply chains built up over decades. But there was a sudden shift as COVID-19’s spread kept people housebound and sent sales of many products spiking for companies like Kraft Heinz, which is dually based in Pittsburgh and Chicago, as well as General Mills, Mondelez and Campbell Soup Co. 

They’d all be happy to see the sales growth continue after there’s a vaccine on the scene.

“While the uptick in buying is partly driven by the pandemic, we are intentionally fueling this trend with sizable communication investments and media choices, and we’ll continue to leverage our momentum,” vowed Carlos Abrams-Rivera, the U.S. zone president for Kraft Heinz, during an investors’ day presentation last week.

At times in recent months, the heavy demand has strained the industry’s factories and supply chains, but the sudden intensity also sped up changes that the industry had been working on. Andrew Lazar, an analyst leading chats with food executives at a Barclays investors conference in early September, noted the 2020 crisis has been described as “essentially the greatest [consumer packaged goods] trial experiment of our lifetime.”

Consider the shift to shopping online for groceries, which avoids the risks of picking up the virus in crowded grocery stores.  .... " 

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