Dogs really are man’s best friends. Or so it would seem, judging by Nestlé’s half-year numbers. A strong showing from the group’s ‘Purina Petcare’ business helped to lift overall revenues up by 2.8 per cent on an organic basis – slightly higher than consensus estimates of 2.3 per cent. That improvement came despite consumers “destocking” after “pantry building” in March, ahead of widespread limitations on movement.
In line with the pattern of those lockdowns, most of Nestlé’s markets saw slower growth in the second quarter. The consumer goods giant’s ‘out of home’ channel was almost entirely shuttered during the respective three months, with water and confectionery particularly affected. But at the same time, demand for prepared meals and frozen food escalated as people stayed put within the confines of their own four walls. Vegetarian and plant-based food products became increasingly popular – with sales rising by 40 per cent, as Nestlé’s ‘Garden Gourmet’ brand made continued progress in Europe. The ‘Sweet Earth’ label also grew strongly in the US.