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Dr Pepper Snapple Group reports Q4 results

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas — Earnings per share for Dr Pepper Snapple Group increased 5 cents to 49 cents, compared with the year-ago period, thanks to an increase in consumer spending and new licensing agreements with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Net sales totaled $1.4 billion, a 4.2% increase from fourth quarter 2009. DPS said the increase was attributed to sales volume growth, positive pricing and deferred revenue from its licensing deals with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Under these agreements, PepsiCo began distributing Dr Pepper, Crush and Schweppes in the U.S. territories — brands that were distributed by the Pepsi Bottling Group — while Coca-Cola began distributing Dr Pepper in the United States and Canada Dry in the northeastern United States, where the products previously were distributed by Coca-Cola Enterprises.

For its volume, DPS experienced a 3% increase, while its "Core 4" brands declined 1%. Crush and Canada Dry grew double digits. Sunkist soda declined high-single digits, 7UP declined mid-single digits and A&W declined low-single digits. DPS added that Snapple and Hawaiian Punch volumes were up 3% and 4%, respectively.

Looking ahead, DPS said it expects full-year reported net sales to increase 3% to 5% and diluted earnings per share to be in the $2.70 to $2.78 range.

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Chobani kicks off first national ad campaign

BY Allison Cerra

NORWICH, N.Y. — Greek yogurt brand Chobani has launched its Real Love Stories multifaceted campaign.

The campaign, which underscores the love Chobani fans have for the brand, marks the company’s first national advertising push, which includes two national television commercials, along with digital and out-of-home ads. Outreach also will continue on the brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“The love we’ve seen since Chobani first hit stores in 2007 has been overwhelming,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, president and founder of Agro Farma, Chobani’s parent company. “We have the best fans in the world, and this campaign celebrates them and their passion for the brand.”

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Mintel: Ethnic foods enjoy robust product growth

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — While some ethnic cuisines have become mainstream, such as Italian and Chinese food, some lesser-known ethnic food products are enjoying growth in the marketplace, according to new research by Mintel.

According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, new food items that contained "Caribbean" in the product description realized a 150% increase from 2009 to 2010. In addition, Asian cuisine products, including Japanese and Thai, respectively rose 230% and 68%.

Mintel suggested that the rise in product launches could be attributed to the fact that consumers now have more outlets that offer such ethnic food products in recent years. In fact, 26% of ethnic-food lovers said they were introduced to the cuisine by television programs, newspapers or magazines that featured cuisine from other countries.

"In keeping with Mintel’s ‘professionalization of the amateur’ CPG trend, consumers are becoming more interested in trying out complicated ethnic dishes at home that would usually be prepared by a chef in a restaurant," said David Lockwood, senior analyst at Mintel.

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