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UPDATE 2-Lower pet food demand hits Smucker results, shares fall

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Aug 27 (Reuters) - J. M. Smucker Co cut its full-year earnings forecast and reported disappointing quarterly results on Tuesday, hit by weak sales of its pet food, coffee and peanut butter, sending its shares down 6%.

Smucker has been betting on growing demand for premium pet food by adding brands such as Milk Bone and celebrity chef Rachel Ray's Nutrish dog and cat food through the acquisition of Big Heart Pet Brands and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition.

However, the business came under pressure as the company offloaded low margin items and faced weak demand at certain retailers, leading to a 7% drop in first-quarter sales.

"As deflation pressures key categories (coffee, peanut butter) and increased competition impacts premium dog food, it's hard to find silver linings," Wells Fargo analyst John Baumgartner said.

Overall volumes fell 3% for Smucker, hurt by declines in its private label pet food brands and Folgers coffee sales.

Big packaged food companies, including Smucker, are also facing stiff competition from upstart brands, which are winning more shelf space in supermarkets across the United States as more consumers experiment with new flavors and ingredients.

In response, Smucker has cut prices on its Folgers coffee and Jif peanut butters to drive demand.

The company now expects fiscal 2020 net sales of flat to a 1% drop. It had previously estimated sales to rise 1% to 2%.

For the year, the company forecast adjusted earnings of $8.35 per share to $8.55 per share, lower than its previous estimate of $8.45 to $8.65.

Net sales fell 6.5% to $1.78 billion in the first quarter, below Wall Street estimates of $1.87 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.58 per share, missing the estimate of $1.74.

However, net income rose 16.2% to $154.6 million from a year earlier. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)