Pandemic Dynamics Keep Packaged Foods, Drive-Thrus in Demand
(Bloomberg) -- After some of the world’s most recognizable packaged-food brands reported earnings Thursday, it’s fair to say the sector is faring well in these tumultuous times.
Kraft Heinz Foods Co. and Kellogg Co. both raised their annual forecasts, while Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. said sales and profit for the year are heading toward the high end of the prior expectations. Molson Coors Beverage Co. topped expectations for the past quarter, even as many bars remain closed or operated at reduced capacity, as shoppers snapped up its hard seltzer and beer.
These kinds of grocery staples are in heavy demand for a simple reason: With Covid-19 still raging, many people don’t want to sit inside a crowded restaurant, so they need more food at home. There are even signs that we’re headed for another surge in so-called pantry-loading, and manufacturers are planning ahead to avoid the stock shortages we saw earlier this year.
The pandemic dynamics remain the biggest factor for many restaurants as well. Yum! Brands Inc. CEO David Gibbs said on a conference call that Taco Bell’s drive-thru demand “skyrocketed” as diners avoided indoor dining, helping push that chain’s comparable-store sales up. Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. called out its efforts to expand digital operations so customers have more options for contactless buying.
Kraft shares rose 1.9% as of 10:02 a.m. in New York, while Kellogg was up less than 1%. Molson was up 3.7%.
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