Americans are still cooking and eating more at home. According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, food company executives are predicting this shift in consumer behavior will persist long after the pandemic is over, which is giving their products new opportunities to become relevant and indispensable for younger generations of home cooks.
Grocery shopping is still at elevated levels, too, and although the momentum of growth has started to wane, several big players in the food industry are reporting an increase in sales of their snacks, packaged foods, and beverages in the last quarter. This is definitely giving us a clue as to what types of items our fellow shoppers are clamoring for at the grocery stores, and which foods are seeing the highest demand. (Related: This Is the Only One Way to Contract COVID-19 at the Grocery Store.)
For example, PepsiCo reported a 6% organic revenue growth for their Frito-Lay and Quaker Food brands in the third quarter. The former saw higher sales of snacks like Tostitos, Cheetos, and Doritos, while the latter reported double-digit sales growth of their pasta and mac and cheese items. Earlier this year, the company said they would be cutting some of their less popular products to meet the skyrocketing demand on their core offerings.
In fact, according to PepsiCo's CFO Hugh Johnson, the company "literally can't make enough" of Cheetos Mac 'N Cheese, a recently launched product that marks the company's first foray into the boxed macaroni and cheese category.
The food industry giant also reported an increase in sales of their beverages. Lines like Bubly sparkling water, Lipton tea, and Starbucks-licensed drinks all saw a higher demand.
And because of home cooking, another company has been unable to keep their products in stock this year. McCormick&Co., the maker of condiments and spices, reported an increase in revenue this summer due to higher demand from home cooks, which made up for a decrease in demand from the restaurant industry.
The company has increased their manufacturing capacity this spring, in order to replenish their low stock and avoid any potential shortages come holiday season. Some of their most popular products include Old Bay Seasoning, French's mustard, and Frank's Red Hot sauce.
For more information on how grocery stores are combatting new shortages, check out Grocery Stores Are Preparing for Shortages of These Holiday Foods.
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