Executive Briefings

From Diapers to Soda, Big Brands Feel Pinch as Consumers Pull Back

Procter & Gamble Co. and PepsiCo Inc. posted lackluster sales in the most recent quarter as producers of some of America's biggest consumer products struggle to give shoppers what they want.

From Diapers to Soda, Big Brands Feel Pinch as Consumers Pull Back

The two companies, which make everything from soda and chips to diapers and toothpaste, said last week that slowed spending in the U.S. cut into their profits.

The results highlight the challenges makers of food, beverages and other consumer staples are facing as they try to adapt to changing tastes. Analysts say some big brands, such as Gillette and Yoplait, are losing ground to upstarts.

Overall purchases of consumer packaged goods in the U.S. declined 2.5 percent in unit terms in the first quarter, according to Nielsen. Big brands are struggling the most. The 20 largest consumer packaged-goods companies last year had flat sales while smaller ones posted sales growth of 2.4 percent, Nielsen says.

There are “probably more sources of volatility today than at any other time in history,” P&G Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said in a call with reporters.

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The two companies, which make everything from soda and chips to diapers and toothpaste, said last week that slowed spending in the U.S. cut into their profits.

The results highlight the challenges makers of food, beverages and other consumer staples are facing as they try to adapt to changing tastes. Analysts say some big brands, such as Gillette and Yoplait, are losing ground to upstarts.

Overall purchases of consumer packaged goods in the U.S. declined 2.5 percent in unit terms in the first quarter, according to Nielsen. Big brands are struggling the most. The 20 largest consumer packaged-goods companies last year had flat sales while smaller ones posted sales growth of 2.4 percent, Nielsen says.

There are “probably more sources of volatility today than at any other time in history,” P&G Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said in a call with reporters.

Read Full Article

From Diapers to Soda, Big Brands Feel Pinch as Consumers Pull Back