Campbell Soup Co missed market expectations for quarterly revenue, as consumers headed out to restaurants after COVID-19 curbs eased, impacting sales of the company's ready-to-eat meals and soups.
Packaged food makers were among the biggest pandemic winners last year as stuck-at-home consumers stocked up on cooking essentials and snacks, as they took to dining at home after the health crisis shuttered outdoor eateries across the world.
As economies reopen, however, more consumers are flocking back to restaurants and cooking less at home, causing demand for packaged foods to recede from last year's peak.
Campbell Soup's net sales fell to $2.24 billion(€1.98 billion) in the first quarter ended 31 October, from $2.34 billion a year earlier.
Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.28 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Net earnings attributable to the company fell to $261 million (€231 million), or 86 cents per share, from $309 million, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier.
In September, the company forecast fiscal 2022 profit and sales below market estimates, hit by a slowdown in demand for packaged foods and higher raw material and transportation expenses.
'Pleased With Our First-Quarter Results'
Campbell’s president and CEO, Mark Clouse, said, "We are pleased with our first-quarter results as consumer demand for our brands remained elevated, and pricing paired with productivity moderated inflation driven margin pressure. Topline was tempered by the expected cycling of year ago retailer inventory replenishment and some industry-wide supply chain disruptions.
"We expect the steps we are taking to continue to address labour challenges, drive net price realisation and improve productivity will lead to solid year-over-year earnings growth in the second half allowing us to maintain our full-year fiscal 2022 guidance."