Prices Will Be Stable for Next 12 Months: General Mills CEO
Powell said that the company's guidance reflects a "typical year" for General Mills, and it projects 3 percent inflation for inputs for its products. He said that the biggest areas of inflation will be in dairy products and packaging, but a 3 percent level is "very manageable" for his company, offset with increases in productivity.
(Related: Customers Remain 'Scarce and Cautious': NFIB)
"Consumer prices, we believe, certainly in our portfolio, will be stable over the course of the next 12 months which means that the volume momentum, I think, will continue to be there," he said.
Part of General Mills' strategy to increase volume is the introduction or extension of new products, including a revamp of the Hamburger Helper brand. Powell said this would be a "renovation" of the brand, about which more information will be released Tuesday.
Emerging markets are also a key driver of growth for the company, and Powell said for General Mills, a slowdown in countries like China and Brazil hasn't been felt, and instead he is seeing strength.
"We're not seeing any slowdown or change in our trajectory," Powell said. "In China, actually our fourth quarter, which ended in May, was a little bit stronger than the proceeding quarter. We exceeded our growth expectations in Brazil last year."
He explained that its focus on staples for the middle class has helped the company support and expand sales in these markets.