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Coronavirus: Sales jump at Premier Foods as customers stock up

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Premier Foods

Sales of Bachelors Super Noodles, Smash instant mash potato and Loyd Grossman sauces have jumped as people stock up on in-store cupboard items during the lockdown, Premier Foods has said.

The company, which owns the brands, said demand for its Mr Kipling and Cadbury home-baking kits was also up.

It credited the “exceptional” demand in March to more meals being eaten at home.

After the trading update, shares in the business jumped 17%.

The food group said its manufacturing plants and distribution networks continued to work at “maximum capacity” during this “challenging time”.

It has therefore given each factory worker two additional days of annual leave and a £250 cash bonus.

“Volumes have started to reduce from the exceptional levels seen in March, although are still expected to continue to be higher than average patterns of demand,” the St Albans-based firm said.

“This reflects more meals being eaten at home than usual due to recent measures set out by the government, and hence increased demand for the group’s product ranges.”

It comes on the back of surging supermarket sales over the past month, as shoppers have stocked up on essentials.

The average household spent an extra £62.92 at supermarkets in March, equivalent to adding five days’ worth of groceries, according to consumer analysts Kantar.

Premier, which also owns the brands Bisto and Ambrosia, said UK sales were up 15% in March.

However, not all categories – such as its pre-made Mr Kipling cakes – performed better than usual.

The firm said it now expects to report a profit for the year ending 28 March at the “top end of market expectations” following a strong fourth quarter.

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