11th May 2022 By Bridget O'Connell | firstname.lastname@example.org | @foodtickernz
Arnott’s New Zealand says it is on track for a strong financial year with sales growth delivered across its biscuit and cracker portfolio and a “phenomenal” Q3 for its Campbell’s soup brand.
The New Zealand country director of the Australasian consumer packaged goods company, Mike Cullerne, told the Ticker that sales of Campbell’s soup which include the Country Ladle, Chunky and red and white condensed soup ranges have jumped 50% in the three months to the end of April.
“As we are three quarters into our current financial year we are in really good shape in terms of the health of the business,” Cullerne said, adding that the purchase of the 180 Degree cracker brand in May last year would be a big contributor the growth.
“But our core business has grown on biscuits, and we’ve also seen a pretty significant acceleration in our stocks and soup business this year.
“With lockdowns and people being at home, they are making more meals from scratch with our real stock products, but what we are also seeing is the purse strings starting to tighten with consumers and people are looking for value meals.
“Our canned soup business has really started to fire in the last quarter – we are up 50% on our Cambell’s soup range so it’s been a really good 12 months for us.”
He said the company was not expecting what he described as the “phenomenal” sales jump, but was able to capitalise on it because it was carrying higher inventory manufactured at its parent company’s Shepparton plant in Victoria.
The Arnott’s Group owns the licencing rights to produce Campbell’s soup products in Asia Pacific as part of its portfolio of consumer food brands, which included Tim Tam and Mint Slice biscuits.
“It caught us on the hop a bit, but we were quite fortunate that our forecasting and demand planning team decided that based on everything that was happening that they would pull forward a lot of the winter inventory we normally bring into the country,” Cullerne said.
“It is a very seasonal category, so as we saw this growth take-off we were quite fortunate that we were in the position to actually service that demand.
“It certainly wasn’t something we were necessarily planning, for but it has got off us to a really good start for the winter and we expect those sales to continue to grow really fast so we are working on getting more product into the country ASAP.”
In the year to August 2021, Arnott’s New Zealand posted operating revenue of $94.1m and a pretax profit of $2.1m. This compared with $99m and $4m in the 2020 fiscal year.
Cullerne said the driver for its weaker results in the 2021 fiscal year was that the period lapped a big surge of sales in March and April 2020, when New Zealand went into its first Covid-19 lockdown.