BOSTON — The J.M. Smucker Co. remains locked in on consistently bringing new on-trend products to market, but rather than focusing on the number of products it launches, the key is making sure the right new products are introduced, Richard Smucker, chief executive officer of J.M. Smucker Co., said Sept. 8 during a presentation at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston.
|Richard Smucker, c.e.o. of J.M. Smucker Co.|
“We are pleased to be able to offer consumers choices that meet their changing needs and their lifestyles and access to those products in a variety of channels, including traditional grocery, club, dollar, drugstore, pet specialty and e-commerce,” Mr. Smucker said.
For starters, simple is in at Smucker. The Orrville, Ohio-based company recently introduced a number of simple ingredient product offerings under the Smucker brand name, including natural food spreads, fruit and honey spreads, and Fruit-Fulls blended fruit pouches.
“The focus for fruit spreads is providing consumers with choice — not only flavor varieties, but also simpler ingredients,” Mark Belgya, senior vice-president and chief financial officer, said. “Consumers’ preference for naturally sweetened products is increasing, and we’ve expanded our portfolio to meet this need.”
Mr. Belgya said Smucker holds a nearly 50% share of the natural fruit spreads market and expects to grow that share with the recent launch of Smucker’s Fruit and Honey, which he said is quickly gaining consumer acceptance.
Simple also was behind the decision to introduce Pillsbury Purely Simple brownie, cake, cookie and frosting mixes. Mr. Smucker described the mixes as a “product solution” for both scratch and mix bakers.
“These varieties have fewer ingredients and make scratch-like baking easy for consumers while providing a great homemade taste,” he said.
The acquisition last year of Sahale Snacks gave Smucker an established platform for growth in the snacking space with innovative and on-trend products. Now, the company wants to build on that platform.
“We recently executed a packaging design to better feature the unique ingredient combinations and flavors,” Mr. Smucker said. “In addition, we expanded the portfolio with the launch of the Sahale Snack bars, providing consumers with a great tasting and convenient protein snack under the Sahale brand.”
Another aspect of the better-for-you eating trend that Smucker has tapped into is the desire for protein, primarily through its Jif brand.“Jif To Go Dippers, Jif Whips,a nd our newest Jif items — snack bars and protein powder -- all offer convenient protein options with the quality you’d expect from Smucker’s,” Mr. Smucker said. “We have also expanded Jif beyond peanut butter by entering the on-trend alternative peanut butter category.”