Conagra sales decline a harbinger of challenging year to come for seafood

Mrs. Paul's Crisphy Battered Fillets.

Conagra Brands, which sports frozen seafood brands Van de Kamp’s and Mrs. Paul’s along with major brands Healthy Choice and Bird’s Eye, lowered its outlook for 2024 after disappointing sales and earnings in its most recent fiscal quarter.

The Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.-based supplier reported that its gross profit plunged 8.2 percent to USD 847 million (EUR 774 million) in fiscal Q2 2024, while organic net sales dropped 3.4 percent. 

The sales decrease was driven by a 2.9 percent decrease in volume, primarily due to lower U.S. consumption trends and a 0.5 percent negative impact from price and product mix, partially attributable to an increase in strategic investments.

In the company’s earnings presentation, Conagra CEO Sean Connelly attributed the decline to shoppers limiting discretionary purchasing; actively reducing household inventories; an uptick in hands-on, at-home meal preparation; increased use of leftovers; and reduced purchasing of convenience items.

Conagra struggled throughout 2023, reporting in October that its fiscal first quarter 2024 net sales ...

Photo courtesy of Conagra

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