Pepperidge 'monitoring the Hostess situation'

by Eric Schroeder
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CAMDEN, N.J. — In the wake of Hostess Brands, Inc.’s decision to wind down operations, Campbell Soup Co., parent of Pepperidge Farm, Inc., is keeping close tabs on what is going on with the embattled baker.

“We are monitoring the Hostess situation,” Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer of Campbell, said during a Nov. 20 conference call with analysts to discuss first-quarter financials. “We — and of course our manufacturing supply chain and distributors — are standing ready to ensure that customers aren’t at risk for any supply interruptions caused by this. This (fresh baking) is a business that is continuously changing through consolidation and price discounting, and we just feel that we are well positioned to play in this part of the business that we occupy right now, which is more the upper end.”

Pepperidge Farm, which offers a range of bread, rolls, buns, bagels and flats under the Pepperidge brand, is the fourth largest fresh bread vendor in the United States, trailing Bimbo Bakeries USA, Flowers Foods, Inc., and Hostess Brands, Inc. In the 52 weeks ended Aug. 5 Pepperidge had fresh bread dollar sales of $345,459,300, which compared with $610,636,400 for Hostess, according to SymphonyIRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.

Pepperidge Farm operates seven bread and cake plants (Bloomfield, Conn.; Lakeland, Fla.; Downers Grove, Ill.; East Brunswick, N.J.; Denver and Downingtown, Pa.; and Aiken, S.C.), four biscuit and cracker plants (Lakeland, Fla.; Willard, Ohio; Denver, Pa.; and Richmond, Utah), and two frozen dough plants (Downingtown, Pa., and Richmond, Utah).

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