Smucker's squeezes out new products

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TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: This morning,the jam maker Smucker's said its profits rose slightly in the last three months. People bought a little more jam and coffee and peanut butter and stuff. Smucker's is a dominant player in the food industry, and the interesting thing is the company's about to roll out dozens of new products. Why would Smucker's be feeling so frisky in this low-down economy?

Marketplace's Jeff Tyler has answers.


JEFF TYLER: Consumers are keeping a tight reign on spending these days. So you might not think it's the most opportune time to introduce low-salt pickles or sugar-free frosting. But another aspect of this economy works in Smucker's favor.

ERIN SWANSON: They're taking advantage of the fact that consumers are choosing to eat more meals at home.

Erin Swanson is an equity analyst with Morningstar. She says new health-conscious products reflect national trends.

SWANSON: People are watching what they eat, especially as the population continues to age.

And she says Smucker's is smart to expand into single-serving coffee.

Swanson: Single-serve coffee cups is the fastest growing segment of the coffee business, and so we think that there's an opportunity for Smucker's to expand its presence in the coffee aisle.

Smucker's bought Folgers Coffee about a year ago. And Swanson says the company is interested in expanding its line of products further by purchasing other brands.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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