Premier Foods reports strong growth in festive sales

Premier Foods has reported its best-ever Christmas performance, with good sales across its grocery brands.

In a trading update for its third quarter, the food manufacturer said that group sales were up 14.4% in the 13 weeks to 30 December 2023 and its total market share increased by 121 basis points compared with the same period a year ago.

The quarter saw strong sales of Bisto, Oxo and Paxo products, as well as significantly higher sales of Cadbury cake. The company also sold nearly 190 million mince pies during the festive season — 4 million more than last year.

Sales in new categories more than doubled, and its international arm also performed well, especially in Ireland.

In the United States, Mr Kipling cake is now available in nearly 2,000 stores. Further recent additions in Canada will take the combined number of stockists across North America to almost 3,000 stores.

Price discounting contributed to Premier Foods’ sales growth in the period and further price cuts are planned in the current quarter.

“The lower promotional price points we introduced in the third quarter have positively impacted performance while also helping consumer budgets go further,” said chief executive Alex Whitehouse. “These lower prices will be extended to additional products such as Loyd Grossman cooking sauces and Mr Kipling Bakewell slices in quarter four.”

Premier Foods said that it continues to “trade strongly” in the fourth quarter and is “well on track to deliver against its previously raised profit expectations” for the full year.

Other brands in the Premier Foods stable include Batchelor’s, Ambrosia, Sharwood’s, Homepride and The Spice Tailor.