PURCHASE, NY. — A confluence of consumer trends affected PepsiCo's third-quarter results. Consumers eating at home remains elevated while foodservice and convenience store purchasing patterns seem to be transitioning back to pre-pandemic levels, company executives said.
“We're seeing, obviously, the away-from-home business picking up,” said Ramon Luis Laguarta, chairman and chief executive officer, during an Oct. 5 conference call with securities analysts. “I think in Q3, our away-from-home business is 90% indexed to '19. It keeps going up with every month that goes by. So clearly, that's a very positive sign.
“Now our convenience store business continues to do very well as consumers are having higher mobility. But the remarkable thing is that the in-home consumption continues to be quite high. So, consumers … are still using the home as a hub and continue to entertain at home and continue to do more things at home. And that's driving additional consumption at home versus the previous '19 level.”
As a result, PepsiCo, Inc. earned $2.22 billion, equal to $1.60 per share on the common stock, for the quarter ended Sept. 4, down 3% from $2.29 billion, or $1.65 per share, in the same period a year.
Sales rose nearly 12% to $20.19 billion from $18.09 billion the year before.
“We delivered 9% organic revenue growth, which was comprised of 4 percentage points of volume growth and a 5-percentage-point contribution from price and mix,” Mr. Laguarta said.
Supply chain disruption as well as inflation caused by labor, transportation and commodity markets impacted earnings, according to the company.
PepsiCo has been taking pricing in 2021 to offset the pressures and may take additional pricing in 2022.
“Some of that pricing occurred in the summer,” said Hugh F. Johnston, chief financial officer. “Much more of it is occurring in the fall in the beverage business and substantially all of it for 2021 in the snack/food business is occurring really as we speak during these weeks right now.
“We'll have a better handle on where exactly 2022 costs are going to land as we get into the first quarter of 2022. And I would expect us to price a bit more to be reflective of some of that sort of finalization of costs during the course of 2022. So Q4, some of the pricing coming through, the balance of it coming in Q1 of 2022.”
Third-quarter results prompted management to raise the company’s organic sales outlook for fiscal 2021. PepsiCo now expects organic revenue to be approximately 8%, up from 6%. The company did not adjust its earnings per share forecast from 12%.
In mid-September, PepsiCo introduced its Pep+ initiatives, which are a series of sustainability commitments. During the conference call with analysts, Mr. Laguarta added some color to the positive choices pillar of the program.
“We want to make sure that our current products are much better,” he said. “You should imagine Lay's continuing to have the same great taste but having the lowest sodium levels in the market and being cooked with the best cooking oils.”
New, more environmentally friendly consumption models also are under consideration. Two examples that may come to fruition are Gatorade in powder or tablet applications.
“And then you should also think about innovation in a way that we bring to the consumer products that are better for the consumer and better for the planet,” Mr. Laugarta said. “For example … we're adding legumes to our snacks portfolio. Legumes … can be used as cover crops that clearly impact better agriculture, but at the same time are more nutritional to (the) consumer.”