Earnings reports from meat giants Cargill, Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands are expected to shed light on whether consumers have been willing to pay higher prices for beef. Less-expensive chicken has been gaining favor with budget-conscious shoppers, particularly after a 2010 drought led to higher beef prices.
As Americans turn away from cereal, Kellogg's sales of "morning foods" dropped 3.3% for the quarter, and Post said sales of Honey Bunches of Oats are down 9%. "We recognize that sometimes consumers don't have time for a bowl of cereal and milk," said Paul Norman, senior vice president at Kellogg, which is introducing breakfast bars and drinks.
Harris Teeter, which is merging with Kroger, reported a quarterly earnings increase of $31.1 million. While same-store sales were up 1.29%, the company said the grocery business remains "intensely competitive."
High-protein food and drinks, already popular in the U.S., are gaining traction in Europe, said Mintel, even though most Europeans get enough protein in their diets. European food and drink launches with high-protein claims have gone up from 12% in 2010 to 35% in 2012.
Chicken company Pilgrim's Pride posted quarterly net income of $190.7 million, a 175% increase over the same period in 2012. "We are large enough to have breadth in our product offerings, but we are also very agile in adapting to rapidly changing market conditions to enable us to optimize mix and price impact," said CEO and President Bill Lovette.