Chocolate is the top quarantine comfort food, according to Hershey, which is reporting significant sales growth in stores and online of chocolate sweets, baking pieces and syrups. The company is benefiting from increasing inventory last quarter as current production keeps pace with real-time demand, according to a statement.
Just Born has extended its temporary production shutdown at its two plants in Pennsylvania through at least April 20. Office employees for the Peeps maker will continue to work remotely, while the company continues to pay all employees, according to a statement.
Sales for digitally native brands will likely increase 24.3% this year, but companies could face challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak's long-term impact on the economy, according to a report from eMarketer. Many of these brands will be considered non-essential by consumers who will increasingly have to choose between wants and needs, the report finds.
Pandemic-related news dominated this week's list of most-read food and beverage stories, including stories of how grocers and CPG manufacturers are coping with the coronavirus outbreak. Dairy Farmers of America's acquisition of Dean Foods Assets, the temporary closure of See's Candies and the sale of Lucky's Market assets also made news.
Concerns for the health and well-being of the candy and snacks community have prompted the cancelation of the 2020 Sweets & Snacks Expo. The 2021 Sweets & Snacks Expo will take place May 24-27 in Chicago. More information on registration refunds and rollovers is available at SweetsAndSnacks.com.
Register for the 2020 Valentine's Day Review webinar on April 16
NCA Sweet Insights is committed to providing the latest insights into the confectionery industry via webinar trainings and education sessions. Join the Valentine's Day Review webinar on April 16 to get the latest insights into the successes and trends of the 2020 Valentine's Day confectionery sales season. Register today.
Like grocers, convenience stores are reporting growing demand during the coronavirus outbreak as more shoppers turn to them for grocery staples. A new survey from the National Association of Convenience Stores shows more than half of the responding stores said grocery sales have increased, and 99% reported they have enhanced cleaning protocols to keep up with the rash of new customers and to help slow the spread of the virus.
Unilever is producing more food products that come in larger sizes to accommodate consumer demand for well-stocked pantries, said Jostein Solheim, Unilever's executive vice president of foods and refreshment for North America. He added this change may result in temporary shortages of smaller-sized items in certain categories such as condiments.
General Mills is allowing office employees to work in its manufacturing plants to help meet increased demand, and the food company is also issuing daily bonuses to production employees for at least four weeks. "Our most important objectives are the continued health and safety of our employees and our ongoing ability to serve our consumers around the world. We see it as imperative that we help ensure a steady and reliable food supply for people and pets," said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills.