COVID-19 latest news from North America

20 May 2021
As Target delivered another blockbuster quarter, with sales up over 20%, we look at how improving shopper confidence and mobility is driving its growth. First quarter key numbers Total revenue increased 23.4% to $24.2bn Operating income increased 407% to $2.4bn Comparable sales up 22.9%, with comparable store sales growth of 18.0% and comparable digital sales growth of 50% ...
09 April 2021
Conagra Brands delivered a strong third quarter performance with net sales up 8.5% to $2.8bn and net income up 37.8% to $281.4m. Although the outlook for COVID-19 is improving in many regions, including enhanced mobility, the company expects demand for food-at-home to remain elevated, underpinning future growth. Four years’ worth of incremental new buyers Given the unprecedented trialling o...
11 January 2021
As one of the first major suppliers to report results in 2021, we review Conagra Brands’ second quarter performance and why it’s so confident that demand for its products will remain elevated. Sales and profits ahead of expectations The second quarter performance, with net sales up 8.1% and adjusted operating profit up 21.7%, exceeded the company’s expectations. The pandemic continues to dr...
22 December 2020
The US Congress has agreed a new $900bn stimulus package as further lockdown mandates are implemented. $900bn package The US Congress has agreed a $900bn coronavirus relief package following nine months of negotiations. This builds on the two trillion dollar CARES Act which was passed in March. The agreement includes direct payments of $600 to most adults and $600 per child. Almost $300bn w...
10 December 2020
With the Campbell Soup Company off to a strong start in the first quarter, we look at the factors which provide it with the confidence that it can sustain its performance going forward. 1. Consumers continue to prepare and eat more meals at home With net sales up 7% and EBIT up 45%, the company continues to benefit from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Growth was strong across meals an...
16 November 2020
With over 1m new cases reported in the US over the past six days, several retailers are reactivating their COVID-19 playbooks with capacity and product limits. Precautionary measures The US continues to experience a rapid growth in COVID-19 cases, with many states reporting their highest new case levels since the start of the pandemic. Although there have not been any signs of a repeat in t...
07 November 2020
We highlight four ways Hershey has aimed to maximise the commercial opportunities as the pandemic drive new consumer behaviours. Solid third quarter Hershey delivered a better than expected third quarter with organic net sales up 3.8% and reported net income up 39.0%. It made major share gains in the US, with the business benefitting from consumers treating themselves during the pandemic an...
02 November 2020
With a renewed focus on agility, a recently launched transformation plan and changes in consumer priorities driving demand, the outlook for Kraft Heinz looks strong. We look at how it plans to sustain its performance moving into 2021. Retail sales gains offsetting foodservice declines Kraft Heinz delivered a strong performance in Q3, with retail organic net sales up 6.3% and EBITDA growth o...
02 November 2020
Following a strategic investment in the company in 2017, Nestlé USA has acquired Freshly, a subscription-based meal delivery service. Removing the barriers to healthy eating Freshly is a weekly subscription service which delivers fresh, chef-cooked meals that can be heated and served in three minutes, directly to customers’ doors. Central to the company’s ethos is a focus on removing barrie...
29 October 2020
We look at how the Kellogg Company continues to benefit from more meals being consumed at home and its focus on retaining new households. Elevated demand moderating The business delivered a strong third quarter performance with organic sales up 4.5% and reported operating profit up 55.9%. While the demand for food-at-home remains at an elevated level, the rate of growth is moderating. Sales...
23 October 2020
We look at The Coca-Cola Company’s third quarter performance and its plans to discontinue around 200 brands globally. Away-from-home remains under pressure Net revenues declined by 9% to $8.7bn, reflecting the pressures it continues to face within the away-from-home segment. However, over the quarter, global unit case volume trends have improved from the volume decline of 25% in April, driv...
20 October 2020
Following a strong first quarter performance, P&G has increased its full year guidance for sales growth, helping to reset expectations for the year ahead. Strongest performance since the start of the pandemic First quarter organic sales growth of 9% was driven by volume growth of 7% and supported by pricing (1%) and mix (1%) improvements. This was the strongest quarterly growth delivered by...
06 October 2020
We look at PepsiCo’s strategic framework and how it’s using it to drive the potential of the business. Benefitting from at-home consumption trends The company delivered a strong third quarter, with net revenue up 5.3% and operating profit up 5.5%. Sales growth was led by its Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods divisions, benefitting from at-home consumption trends. It remains optimistic on its prosp...
30 September 2020
We look how McCormick is benefiting from the shift to more eating at home and some of the challenges its continues to face. New behaviours becoming ingrained As one of the leading global companies in the flavours and condiments categories, McCormick has seen a major shift in consumer behaviour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its internal data indicates that consumers are cooking more from scr...
24 September 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic having provided “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive trial for our brands,” we look at how General Mills plans to retain its new customers. Net sales up 9.0% The company delivered a strong performance in Q1 with net sales up 9.0% to $4.4bn, and net earnings up 22.7% to $638.9m. It continues to benefit from elevated at-home demand, with expectations that it...
14 September 2020
Speaking at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference earlier this month, Colgate-Palmolive’s chairman, president and CEO, Noel Wallace, outlined three strategies for the business as it navigates the pandemic. 1. Staying true to its core principles The company has launched several new initiatives to support consumers, retailer customers and communities. These include providing educati...
07 September 2020
As we transition out of the summer holiday period, in most geographies the COVID-19 pandemic has moved into a different phase. While latest trading updates from major CPG companies highlighted 12 broad areas of focus, five are being prioritised as companies adjust to the latest trading conditions. Uncertainty and volatility persist Although the virus path and nature of lockdowns continues t...
04 September 2020
The Campbell Soup Company rounded off a strong full year performance with an excellent Q4 performance, underpinned by COVID-19 driven demand. We look at the steps the business is taking to drive stronger future growth. 1. Retaining new households Having captured millions of new households, even if retention is modest, it will offer significant incremental growth Retaining younger shop...
03 September 2020
We review how Couche-Tard, which operates mainly under the Circle K banner globally, performed in the first quarter performance and the impact of COVID-19 across its development plans. Q1 headline numbers Total merchandise and service revenues increased 7.0% to $3.9bn Same-store merchandise revenues up 19.9% in Canada, 7.7% in the US and 3.4% in Europe Same-store road transportatio...
31 August 2020
With Dollar General reporting an outstanding second quarter performance, we look at how it is adjusting its operations to capture new growth opportunities. Top line results Total sales up 24.4% to $8.7bn Same-store sales up 18.8% Net income increased 84.6% to $788m Same-store sales in the first weeks of Q3 running at around 15% Four strategic priorities The business had ...