PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Pinnacle Foods Inc. is reducing the number of frozen food stock-keeping units (s.k.u.s) it sells under its Aunt Jemima brand. Specifically, the company plans to exit 16 s.k.u.s, including frozen waffles, frozen french toast slices and frozen pancakes. It will still manufacture such Aunt Jemima branded frozen products as mini pancakes, french toast sticks, breakfast entrees and Griddle Poppers.
|Mark Clouse, c.e.o. of Pinnacle Foods|
The announcement comes shortly after the company initiated a recall on May 5 of some frozen food products due to potential Listeria contamination. The recall included 18 Aunt Jemima frozen food products and one Hungry Man branded item.
“The decision to exit these products now was the appropriate action for Pinnacle,” said Mark Clouse, chief executive officer. “It is consistent with our plans to enhance the ongoing margin of the company and focus our efforts and investments on more profitable growth opportunities longer term.
“While the timing of this exit was accelerated by the voluntary recall we initiated last week, these items are low-margin, non-strategic s.k.u.s that we expected to exit at some point in the foreseeable future. The benefit we now expect from the lower adjusted E.T.R. (effective tax rate) this year is forecasted to offset this business decision, enabling us to reaffirm our guidance for 2017.”
The company said the s.k.u. reduction will lead to a non-cash charge of $50 million to $60 million. The charge and the exit will take place during the second quarter of fiscal 2017.Additional Pinnacle Foods brands in the frozen food category include Birds Eye, Celeste, Hungry Man, Mrs. Paul’s and Van de Kamp’s.