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Friday, February 11, 2011

Kraft Joins Kellogg, Sara Lee, J.M. Smucker, Price Hikes

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Kraft says more price increases ahead

By SARAH SKIDMORE | AP Food Industry Writer www.STLtoday.com
February 10, 2011
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- Kraft Foods Inc., like many of its peers, is feeling some pricing pressure.
The company reported Thursday that price increases it made to cope with higher ingredient costs are not going to be enough to sustain its profitability and it plans further hikes this year.
As one of the world's largest food companies, Kraft is feeling the pinch from higher costs for wheat, corn, sugar and other commodities.
The company already raised prices on most of its products in Europe and more than half in North America. But it said its input costs rose nearly $500 million during the fourth quarter and its profit margins suffered accordingly.
Company leaders expect costs will remain high for the year, but they said profit margins should recover in the second half of the year as price hikes begin to offset those costs.
Kraft is one of many food makers talking about price hikes to cope with increased costs. In past week, Kellogg Co., Sara Lee Corp. and J.M. Smucker Co. also announced them.

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