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Saturday, 4 April 2020

Coronavirus pandemic triggered ‘really big’ increase in sales of chocolate bars, frozen pizza: Nestlé USA CEO

Sales of comfort food items such as chocolate bars, frozen pizzas and baking ingredients have seen a healthy increase over previous weeks.
Sales of comfort food items such as chocolate bars, frozen pizzas and baking ingredients have seen a healthy increase over previous weeks.(Shutterstock)

The devastating effects on the global economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic might not be felt equally across all industries in the U.S.
According to Steve Presley, the CEO and chairman of Nestlé USA, sales of some comfort-related food items such as chocolate bars, frozen pizzas and baking ingredients have seen a healthy increase over previous weeks.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance Friday, Presley pointed out at the state of sales of foods and beverages in the U.S. by mentioning recent data released by the Information Resources Inc. The IRI is an analytics firm that analyzes market intelligence focused on the consumer packaged goods industry.
According to the data, total food and beverage sales in the U.S. surged 50.8% year-over-year for the week ending March 22.
The three categories driving most significant sales increases include packaged foods (up 32% year-over-year), frozen foods (up 27%) and dairy (up 26%).
“I think as you look across all of the categories,” Presley said, “we are seeing really big increases.”
The data also suggested a “real surge” in home baking, likely because stay-in-place orders have been enacted all across the country.
“We have such a broad portfolio in the U.S. we see spikes across all of our businesses really with the exception being the out of home business obviously,” he added.
Nestlé USA also owns DiGiorno frozen pizza and Toll House baking products.

Conagra Brands CEO Sean Connolly also had a similar take when speaking to Yahoo Finance earlier in the week.

“From the second week of our fiscal fourth quarter to date, we’ve experienced the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 as consumers have stocked up on food and shifted rapidly to eating more at home,” he said.

Speaking on the health of the food supply chain, Presley seemed happy about the “robust work’’ the company has been doing in order to maintain supermarket shelves stocked with its products.

“So far, knock on wood, the supply chain continues to perform very, very well,” he said.

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