B&G Foods expects an increase in the number of home workers in the US to persist even if a vaccine is found for Covid-19 – and for that to benefit the categories in which the manufacturer operates.

US pharma giant Pfizer and German biotech firm said today (9 November) preliminary analysis of a  vaccine under their development could prevent more than 90% of people from getting Covid-19, based on a test sample of more than 43,000 people from multiple countries.

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Speaking to analysts after the release of B&G’s third-quarter results on Thursday (5 November), CEO Ken Romanzi said: “We believe many more consumers will be working from home even after vaccine is available.”

Romanzi suggested this trend will continue to prove beneficial to B&G’s product portfolio.

“We participate in good categories with well-known leading brands that cater very well to the work from home crowd. Whether it’s baking, meal, condiments, spices and seasonings, or vegetables, we have high quality tasty products in our portfolio that really satisfy consumers basic needs,” he said.

In B&G’s third quarter, which ran to 3 October, the company saw its net sales increase by 22% to US$495.8m.

The company’s operating income increased from $65.9m to $87.9m. Adjusted EBITDA was up by 21.3% on the equivalent period in 2019 at $104.6m. B&G’s third-quarter net income was $119.8m, up from $66.1m in the corresponding period a year earlier.

Romanzi said: “During the quarter, B&G Foods continued to benefit from very strong demand for our products as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.”

B&G, which owns brands including Green Giant and Clabber Girl, announced at the end of last month it was acquiring the Crisco cooking oil and bakery shortening brand from domestic peer J.M. Smucker. Romanzi suggested to analysts B&G continued to see acquisitions as part of its growth strategy.

“Our plans going forward follow the same blueprint we began implementing before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

“We call it our vision to growth and it’s anchored in three strategic priorities – drive organic, improve margins and make accretive acquisitions.”

He said B&G would “keep our cash flow strong and balance sheet ready for a period of acquisitions”.