Time to mod­ern­ize

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - ONLINE EXTRA -

The maker of Chef Bo­yardee and Ban­quet frozen meals is try­ing to mod­ern­ize its lineup of prod­ucts and re­verse years of de­clin­ing sales.

ConA­gra Brands says its sales fell 10 per­cent for its lat­est fis­cal year as it worked on re­shap­ing its busi­ness. The ef­forts in­clude ac­quir­ing more on-trend prod­ucts like Duke’s meat snacks, while also up­dat­ing brands like Healthy Choice to bet­ter re­flect how peo­ple are eat­ing now.

In ad­di­tion, ConA­gra is get­ting rid of less-prof­itable prod­ucts and cut­ting back on pro­mo­tions to try to com­mand higher prices in gen­eral. CEO Sean

Con­nolly says he’s en­cour­ag­ing the de­vel­op­ment of prod­ucts with higher profit mar­gins. The com­pany says it wants 15 per­cent of rev­enue to come from new prod­ucts by 2020.

ConA­gra isn’t the only big food com­pany mak­ing such changes. Oth­ers such as Camp­bell Soup and Hormel are also try­ing to up­date their of­fer­ings to in­clude prod­ucts that seem fresher or health­ier.

Still, it’s a work in progress at ConA­gra, with the Chicago-based com­pany fore­cast­ing sales will be flat to down 2 per­cent for its next fis­cal year. That could mark the fourth straight year of de­clin­ing sales.

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