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Kraft Heinz Sales Tick Higher as Prices Rise


Kraft Heinz Co.

KHC -0.94%

posted higher sales during the latest quarter after raising prices to offset surging costs.

The Pittsburgh-based maker of Kool-Aid and Jell-O said sales rose 2.9% to $6.51 billion in the third quarter, as it pushed prices 15.4% higher from a year earlier in a bid to manage rising input costs. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting $6.27 billion.

The company reported a drop in volume from the same quarter last year, due to both its higher prices and continuing supply-chain constraints.

Kraft Heinz and other food makers have been fighting persistent supply-chain challenges and steep cost inflation on key food commodities with price increases that have weighed on sales volumes, but pushed their top lines higher.

Conagra Brands Inc.,

the producer of Duncan Hines cake mixes and Slim Jim meat snacks, reported a 10% jump in sales for its recently completed quarter despite selling 4.6% less food, citing higher prices and a shift in the mix of products it sold.

Grocery prices in the U.S. were up 13% in September, according to the latest data from the Labor Department. The price of eating out meanwhile rose 8.5%, though some food producers say they still expect their volumes to improve in the months ahead as economic uncertainty and inflation push more people to eat at home.

Earnings came in at $432 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with $733 million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier. The 40.8% drop was due in part to noncash impairment losses, the company said.

Stripping out one-time items, adjusted earnings were 63 cents a share, topping analyst expectations of 56 cents a share, according to FactSet. Kraft Heinz said higher prices managed to fully offset higher supply-chain expenses and costs for commodities, including dairy, packaging materials and soybean and vegetable oils.

Kraft Heinz shares advanced 0.3% to $37.18 in midday trading.

Consumer spending has held up relatively well so far despite inflation, but experts say we’re approaching an inflection point. WSJ’s Sharon Terlep explains the role “elasticity” plays in a company’s decision on whether to raise prices. Photo illustration: Adele Morgan

Write to Dean Seal at [email protected]

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