Food & Beverage

Surge in snack sales is not just 'pantry loading,' Mondelez CEO says after earnings beat

Key Points
  • Mondelez, which counts Oreo and Ritz among its marquee brands, reported organic growth of 6.4% for the first quarter.
  • "Unless consumers are building a warehouse for Oreos at home, I think they are eating it," CEO Dirk Van de Put said.
  • Mondelez withdrew its full-year guidance, citing uncertainty about the business impact of the pandemic, but Van de Put said he thinks the company could continue to see growth. 
VIDEO7:1007:10
Mondelez CEO on snacking trends

Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Put said Tuesday that the company is seeing continued growth in snack sales after consumers stocked up at the beginning of the pandemic. 

"Originally, you would have said this was pantry loading, but this has now been going on for more than six weeks. And unless consumers are building a warehouse for Oreos at home, I think they are eating it," Van de Put said on CNBC's "Closing Bell." 

The snack company, which counts Oreo and Ritz among its marquee brands, reported organic growth of 6.4% for the first quarter. Mondelez also reported 69 cents in adjusted earnings per share and $6.71 billion in revenue. Wall Street analysts expected 66 cents in earnings per share and $6.61 billion in revenue, according to Refinitiv. The stock slipped 0.9% in extended trading. 

Van de Put said there was an initial spike in North America as more states and cities issued stay-at-home orders, leading to weekly sales growth of around 30%. While that pace has tapered off, he said sales in the area are still growing in the high single digits, above pre-crisis growth levels. 

Mondelez withdrew its full-year guidance, citing uncertainty about the business impact of the pandemic, but Van de Put said he thinks the company could continue to see growth. 

"A lot of the out-of-home eating has now gone in home, and that leads to more snacking ... the second thing is that sharing a snack with your family, with your kids brings a feeling of comfort," Van de Put said.

The company also operates in China, but Van de Put said he didn't think the performance in the region would be predictive for coming quarters in the U.S. and Europe. Van de Put said the economic restrictions to slow the spread of the virus were more strict in China and that it was recovering more quickly than he expected to see in Western countries.