Corporate Profiles - 2021 - 106

COMPANY OVERVIEW
TreeHouse Foods, Inc.
E
fforts to optimize operations, improve service
levels and build a strong centralized
commercial organization are helping TreeHouse
Foods, Inc. stabilize its foundation.
The Oak Brook, Ill.-based private label manufacturer
in 2020 realigned its portfolio into two
divisions, Snacking & Beverages and Meal Preparation,
to better align itself with how customers
operate.
" The new structure streamlined decisionmaking,
enabled us to compete more effectively
and to better serve our retail customers, " said
Steven T. Oakland, president and chief executive
officer, in a May 6 conference call to discuss
first-quarter results.
The move to streamline TreeHouse has included
the closing of facilities, cutting low-margin
stock-keeping units and divesting units that are
no longer core to its business. The most recent
divestiture came in June when TreeHouse sold its
ready-to-eat cereal business to Post Holdings for
$85 million. It was the second time the companies
agreed to a deal. The Federal Trade Commission
two years ago challenged Post's $110 million
acquisition of the cereal business because of antitrust
concerns.
TreeHouse in late 2020 acquired Riviana
Foods' pasta brands expanding the company's
Stable foundation helps private label manufacturer navigate headwinds
scope in the pasta category. The deal added
$40 million to Meal Preparation business unit
sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2021, offsetting
a difficult comparison to the previous
year's COVID-related demand surge.
The company is using learnings from its strategy
and the pandemic to shape how it will invest in
the 40% of its portfolio that represents significant
growth opportunities.
" Our growth engine businesses include categories
like broth, pretzels, crackers, single-serve
and powdered beverages and pasta, " Mr. Oakland
said. " These are categories where we have deep
market penetration, and we're working to build a
pipeline of opportunities to fuel growth. "
During a Sept. 8 session at the virtual Barclays
Global Consumer Staples Conference, Mr. Oakland
said the company's growth engine categories will
provide strategic opportunities moving forward.
" Manufacturing will be important, no question,
but we're adding capabilities like category
and consumer insights, analytic capabilities that
will allow us to unlock price-pack architecture
with our customers, helping our retailers have a
holistic view of the opportunity across the category, "
Mr. Oakland said.
As an example, he said TreeHouse helped a
retailer strengthen its position in the cracker category.
It also grew its business with an online retailer
that primarily was selling single-serve coffees
manufactured by the company.
The use of analytics and insights are helping
TreeHouse navigate a challenging market where
private label is losing share in some categories.
Lower-than-expected consumer demand for private
label brands created a headwind for the
company in the second half of the year.
Mr. Oakland attributed a decrease in private
label sales to higher levels of disposable income
resulting from government stimulus and fewer
spending outlets.
" Our view is that this shift is not sustainable
long term, particularly given the inflationary environment, "
Mr. Oakland said in an Aug. 5 call
with analysts to discuss second-quarter results.
" We do expect that stimulus will continue to
support the value shopper through the balance
of 2021 before beginning to normalize as these
programs recede. " CP
Chief executive officer -
Steven T. Oakland
TreeHouse Foods net
income (loss)
($64)
($361)
$14
$4,588
2018
2019
2020
$4,289
$4,350
TreeHouse Foods net sales
TreeHouse Foods share price
per share
$32
$39
$46
$53
$60
2018
2019
2020
Oct.
2020
Dec.
Feb.
2021
Apr.
June
Aug.
106 \ October 2021
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