US-based jam, peanut butter, relishes and snacks maker J.M. Smucker has reported Q4 sales figures that have been massively boosted by the Covid-19 factor.
The Jif peanut butter brand owner saw net sales increase by 10% in the quarter to 30 April to $2.09bn, compared to the same period last year. Its adjusted operating income was up year-on-year by 22% at $431.2m.
The company admitted the increase was “driven by increased consumer demand resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic”.
It said in April it had seen a sharp spike in sales as pantry-loading by consumers worried about food shortages kicked in.
Speaking about its Q4 results today (4 June), company CEO Mark Smucker said: “This exceptional growth is a testament to the strength of our brands and consumer-centric strategy as consumers turned to trusted products to stock their kitchens as stay-at-home orders were implemented across North America.”
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Smucker has benefited from having so many shelf-stable, or ambient, brands within its roster. The company contrasted the up-tick in retail sales of these products to a “significant decline for its away-from-home business”.
Over the 12-month period to 30 April, the company’s sales were flat at $7.80bn and the CEO said he does not expect the very recent boost in sales to be sustained at the same level going forward.
“Looking ahead, we anticipate increased at-home consumption to continue during the beginning of our fiscal year 2021 – though at a more moderate rate as stock-up purchasing in the fourth quarter is not anticipated to reoccur, and significant declines for the away-from-home business are expected to persist throughout the year,” he said.
“We remain focused on meeting the demand needs created by the current environment, while continuing to execute against our strategic priorities to position the business for long-term growth.”
Smucker is forecasting a 1-2% net sales decline for fiscal 2021.