General Mills Inc raised its full-year sales forecast, boosted by strong demand for the Cheerios maker's cereals, snacks and baking products as the pandemic-induced at-home cooking boom held strong.
Consumers have continued with lockdown-induced habits of cooking and eating more at home even as they headed out to restaurants and bars after COVID-19 curbs eased, bolstering sales at packaged food makers.
General Mills also benefited from a surge in demand for pet treats as more people adopted cats and dogs last year to ease the stress of the pandemic, helping the company post a 29% increase in sales at its pet food division.
Sales at the Pillsbury dough maker's core North America retail business rose 2% in the second quarter ended 28 November.
In the first six months, the company's net sales increased 5%, to $9.6 billion, while organic net sales increased 4%.
The company now expects organic net sales to rise between 4% and 5% in fiscal 2022. It had earlier forecast annual organic sales to be towards the higher end of a 1% to 3% decline range.
Net sales rose to $5.02 billion in the reported quarter , from $4.72 billion a year earlier, beating estimates $4.84 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES.
Commenting on the company's performance, General Mills chairman and chief executive, Jeff Harmening, said, "We continued to compete effectively and execute well this quarter in a challenging operating environment.
"In the face of an unprecedented combination of input cost inflation and supply chain disruptions, we’re moving quickly to keep our trusted brands on store shelves for consumers while driving net price realisation to protect our bottom line. As a result, we now expect to meet or exceed each of our financial targets for the year."
Elsewhere, the company has appointed Doug Martin as its chief brand and disruptive growth officer, effective 3 January 2022.