premier foods shopper

Source: Premier Foods

Shoppers turned to Batchelors, Nissin and other Premier brands in search of a cheap meal

Premier Foods has reported a “strong start” to the year as its stable of noodles, sauces and stock cubes helped budget-conscious shoppers in search of cheap meals.

Group sales in the 13 weeks to 2 July rose 6% year on year, with branded sales 4.2% higher, as Premier continued to make market share gains in store and online.

The uplift came as Premier successfully passed on cost price increases to retailers, with CEO Alex Whitehouse confirming the group had made “good progress” in recovering input cost inflation.

Whitehouse added consumers were increasingly looking to cook “tasty, affordable meals at home”, which fitted well with Premier’s broad portfolio of brands, with Batchelors and Nissin performing particularly well in the quarter.

“With this positive trading momentum behind us, we remain firmly on track to deliver our expectations for the year,” he said.

Within its grocery division, sales rose 6.3% in the first quarter, with branded sales 4.5% ahead of the prior year.

However, branded volumes were slightly lower in the period as it lapped figures elevated by Covid restrictions.

A strong recovery in out-of-home sales compared with the prior year helped the company register non-branded growth of 17.1%.

Sales in the sweet treats division increased by 5.1%, with branded sales up 3.3% and non-branded sales 26.8% higher than last year.

The healthier range of non-HFSS Mr Kipling Deliciously Good cakes were launched in the period and had been “very well received” by consumers, Premier said. Mr Kipling also benefited from a new TV advertising campaign.

Premier also reported continued positive momentum overseas, with international sales up 12% year on year, with “a very strong” performance in Australia where Mr Kipling recorded its highest-ever market share.

Premier left its forecasts for the year unchanged and added it expected to continue to realise further shareholder value through the ongoing delivery of its growth strategy.

Shares in the company rose 0.5% to 111.2p in early trading.