Food Business News - June 17, 2014 - (Page 10)

Peanut butter innovaton propels Smucker Jif line extensions help drive unit growth in fourth quarter ORRVILLE, OHIO - J.M. LE OH HIO JM Smucker Co. believes it has put its higher peanut costs behind, putting the maker of Jif on a path to grow its peanut butter business. Company executives in a June 5 conference call with analysts cited some of the company's specialty alternative Jif line extensions as a driving force behind a 6% increase in segment operating profit in J.M. Smucker's U.S. Retail Consumer Foods unit in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. More success is expected in fiscal 2015. Richard Smucker, chief executive officer, told analysts during the call that the marketplace is experiencing an emphasis on plant-based protein. "A lot of companies are focusing on that area, and peanut butter is probably the largest plant-based protein in the marketplace," Mr. Smucker said. "And so, I think we will continue to get some benefit from that. And our acquisition of Enray foods and the quinoa leadership that they have is another plantbased protein that we are riding on in the health food area. So we are excited about being in those categories." Smucker acquired Enray, Livermore, Calif., in August 2013. Paul Smucker Wagstaff, president of U.S. Retail Consumer Foods, added that Smucker is well-positioned from a competitive standpoint, both in variety and in cost. "When you look at some of the innovation that we have coming out in (the peanut butter business), we have Jif Dippers, which is a snack type item, and we know snacks is a growing, growing category and the segment is doing well," he said. "Our Jif Whips continue to do well and we are pleased with that. The Jif Hazelnut, we are re-launching that product in a plastic jar at a similar size to our competition, we are investing behind all of these. "So, we feel very good and comfortable with our peanut butter business and where it is heading in the fiscal year coming up." Earlier this year, Smucker said it would invest an additional $40 million in a peanut butter plant in Memphis, Tenn. Construction at the site is under way, and the plant is expected to be producing peanut butter by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, Mr. Smucker Wagstaff said. Also contributing to the U.S. Retail Consumer Foods unit profit during the fourth quarter was Uncrustables. Net sales of the frozen sandwiches increased 16% during the quarter, while volume rose 23%. Meanwhile, brand volume in Crisco increased 20% during the quarter, but sales fell 5%, dragged down by a 9% list price increase taken during the quarter and higher promotional expense. Overall, segment profit for the U.S. Retail Consumer Foods segment was $95.7 million in the fourth quarter ended April 30, up from $90.2 million in the same period a year ago. Sales eased 4% to $465.8 million from $485.8 million. For the full year, operating profit was $396.9 million, down 4% from $415.3 million, while sales fell 2% to $2,172.6 million from $2,214.8 million. Lower net price realization more than offset the benefit of lower green coffee costs in the fourth quarter as segment operating profit in Smucker's U.S. Retail Coffee unit decreased 10% to $133 million from $147.7 million. Sales also were lower, falling 12% to $473.5 million from $535.5 million. For the full year, the segment posted profit of $641.9 million, up 6% from $607.5 million a year ago, while sales fell 6% to $2,161.7 million from $2,306.5 million. Net income at J.M. Smucker in the year ended April 30 was $565.2 million, equal to $5.42 per share on the common stock, up 4% from $544.2 million, or $5 per share, in fiscal 2013. Net sales totaled $5,610.6 million, down 5% from $5,897.7 million. FBN Pinnacle opens pilot plant at Rutgers PARSIPPANY, N.J. - Pinnacle Foods Inc. has opened a research and development pilot plant at Rutgers University, a move the company believes will allow it to increase its R.&D. capabilities, scale up learnings for commercialization, further support brand renovation and productivity, and improve speed to market. The pilot plant has been designed for Pinnacle's Duncan Hines Grocery Division, which includes such brands as Duncan Hines, Vlasic, Wish-Bone, Mrs. Butterworth's and Log Cabin. 10 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® "We have been on a continuous mission to strengthen our R.&D. capabilities," said Steve Gunther, senior vice-president of R.&D. at Pinnacle. "The pilot plant is one more step in increasing our technical rigor. We'll be able to execute experimental designs across our brands, studying various ingredient, process and package interactions without impacting our manufacturing facilities." Pinnacle said the new pilot plant at Rutgers Food Innovation Center - North is its first university-affiliated pilot site and expands the company's existing relationship with the institution that began last year through an undergraduate internship program. Through the expanded collaboration, Pinnacle said it will leverage the technologies of the university, partner with the food science, packaging and engineering departments, and have the opportunity to sponsor specific graduate research work to benefit both student learning and the company. The pilot plant will enable Pinnacle to replicate existing production processes at its Grocery Division plants and conduct consumer testing. Additionally, Pinnacle will be able to evaluate various process changes outside the plant environment and bring in equipment for testing. FBN June 17, 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - June 17, 2014

Food Business News - June 17, 2014
Tyson building a prepared foods powerhouse
Sodium reduction: Aiming at the target
Mid-year markets spotlight
Web Contents
Editorial - Preventing food fraud must be a priority
Peanut butter innovaton propels Smucker
Pinnacle opens pilot plant at Rutgers
Consumer interest in protein remains high
Trashing trillions of calories
Health science at the center of Nestle’s strategy
Nestle sees emerging markets as an e-commerce opportunity
McDonald’s U.S. sales still slipping
Innovation popping at Diamond Foods
Emerging natural and organic food and beverage trends
B&G Foods goes clubbing
C-suite focus shifting toward greater effi ciencies
Krispy Kreme looks to create buzz with licensed coff ee
Private label, sustainability shaping Hain Celestial’s strategy
Quality Egg executives plead guilty to selling adulterated products
Redefining food allergens
Have your cake and quinoa, too
Three snack makers to watch
Flavor mining
Ancient grains for modern trends
Ancient grains in America
All systems go on sustainability strategies
Targeting sodium reduction
General Mills launches Cheerios Protein
Wonka introduces Peel-a-Pops
Ready Pac expands on-the-go meals
Pacifi c Foods adds to hummus offerings
Big chicken fi llet sandwiches debut
Breyers off ers gluten-free ice cream
oCrunch and Kellogg’s partner to create cereal bowl
Stoneridge Orchards launches new dried whole fruit products
GoOrganic debuts fruit chews
popchips rolls out veggie chip line
On the Border debuts smart menu selections
Annie’s announces snack and mini meal kits
Gold’n Plump upgrades frozen chicken patties
Ingredient Market Trends - U.S.D.A. raises U.S. and world wheat ending stocks forecasts
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - June 17, 2014