Food Business News - April 7, 2015 - (Page 23)

serves International Food Products Continued from Page 21 keep them from doing it. We may have fewer facings, they may not be in an ad... (but) it's not punitive. It's just that's not the right value for our customers. And our customers will tell us it's the wrong price for that product. "We'll carry it because there will be some people that want it. It just won't be prominent in the spot." Another key to continuous growth for Kroger is innovation in prepared food offerings, from juice to pizza to artisan cheese. "We are the largest sushi retailer in America, and nobody really knows that," Mr. Ellis said. "And so, I think we just have to keep innovating and listening to the customer, and really giving them what they ask for." The retailer's prepared foods selections vary by region, with barbecue shops in some markets and house-smoked salmon on the West coast. "You have to continually reinvent prepared food," Mr. Ellis said. "The customer is changing so quickly." FBN Packaged meats sales lift Smithfield earnings S M I T H F I E L D , VA. - Smithfield Foods, VA Inc. reaped the power of packaged meats as the company reported a record financial performance for 2014. "Our record earnings underscore Smithfield's evolution into a branded packaged meats company," said Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer. "We made significant progress on a number of fronts this year across all of our divisions and I am proud to report that we continued to strengthen our marketing and brand building efforts to drive product mix improvements, while maximizing our manufacturing platform to operate more efficiently." Mr. Pope added that operating efficiencies and product mix improvement enabled the company to deliver volume, market share and distribution gains across a number of its brands and strategic product categories, despite high raw material costs. He said the company's performance in the bacon category with the Smithfield brand was particularly robust. Sales surged 10% to $2.2 billion in the company's Packaged Meat segment. Smithfield attributed the result to growth in retail, food service and export sectors. Retail sales volume and dollars climbed for the company's Smithfield, Eckrich, Cook's, Kretschmar and Carando brands. Several Smithfield brands continued to gain market share, the company said. Top performers included Smithfield bacon, Smithfield ham steaks, Smithfield marinated April 7, 2015 pork, Eckrich cooked dinner sausage, Gwaltney packaged lunchmeat, Gwaltney hot dogs, Kretschmar deli meats and Margherita d dry sausage. The company also expanded distribut tion of its Smithfield bacon, Smithfield ham s steaks, Smithfield marinated pork, Eckrich c cooked dinner sausage, Farmland ham s steaks, Gwaltney packaged lunchmeat, Nat than's hot dogs and Margherita dry sausage. Operating margin in Smithfield's Fresh Pork segment declined to 2%, or $3 per head. The U.S.D.A. pork cutout rose 8%, reflecting tight supplies of pork and strong demand. The company processed 7% fewer hogs, which was attributable to porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv). "PEDv has not been a major issue this fall, but the virus does remain a potential wildcard going forward," Mr. Pope said. "We expect U.S. market hog supplies to rebound in 2015, although lower prices and reduced energy costs should generate additional demand in the export markets, as well as domestically. Lower pork prices should also allow us to leverage additional synergistic opportunities with WH Group and Shuanghui, our sister company in China." Hog Production operating margin advanced to 10%, or $23 per head. Smithfield said tailwinds for results included the positive effect of PEDv on live hog prices combined with lower input costs. Year over year, live hog market prices jumped 20% to $79 per cwt, while raising costs declined 6% to $64 per cwt. Sales of hogs dropped 10%, but heavier market weights offset some of the shortfall, the company said. Overall, Smithfield reported fourth-quarter net income of $152.6 million, compared to $34.7 million a year ago. Revenues advanced 5% to $4.1 billion. Full-year results for the company included record net income of $556.1 million and sales of $15 billion, an increase of 8%. FBN Dairies We troubleshoot dairy process issues, develop custom blends, enhance formulas, give buying advice and deliver the highest quality ingredients. Chocolate Dairy Powder Milk Flavors Non-Dairies Food Grade Chemicals Stabilizers Vitamins Cocoa Sugar 800-227-8427 Trusted Ingredients. Trusted Advisors. FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® 23

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - April 7, 2015

Food Business News - April 7, 2015
Challenges ahead for ConAgra Foods
Shifting from weight management to wellness
Beverage Business News - Beyond milk: Dairy ingredient trends
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - India may soon rival China in growth
Health concerns, competitive headwinds slow U.S. chocolate sales growth
Innovation brewing at McCormick
Tyson Foods leveraging Hillshire innovation
Heinz, Kraft merger offers ample international opportunities
Kroger on the cutting edge
Packaged meats sales lift Smithfield earnings
Market Insight - Farmers’ planting intentions vary from expectations
Washington - Feinstein, Leahy introduce B.P.A. labeling bill
Company Profile - Panera 2.0: In pursuit of excellence
Ingredient Innovations - Anticipating egg alternative needs
Dairy solids assist with flavor development
New Food Products
Ingredient Market Trends - U.S.D.A. March 1 soybean, corn and wheat stocks up from year ago
Ingredient Markets
Highlights from Research Chefs Association’s Culinary Expo in New Orleans
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - April 7, 2015