"While we'll be out of the game in a significant way for a while as we delever from the Ralcorp deal, we still will make acquisition a significant part of our growth plan," Rodkin said. "We will continue to improve the portfolio through acquisition over time."
Last month, ConAgra announced a $5 billion merger with Ralcorp to transform itself into the largest maker of private label foods. Rodkin expects the deal to close sometime in the first quarter.
ConAgra also sees opportunity for better organic growth as cost inflation stabilizes and consumers see fewer price increases at the supermarket.
"The inflation in our cost of goods is much more moderate this year than it was a year ago," he said.
"As we look forward we look for a moderate level of inflation," he added. "It will flare up in some places driven by the drought. We'll see that probably in proteins but it will still be very manageable."
Earlier Thursday, the maker of Hunt's ketchup said that its full-year earnings will be at the high end of its forecasts. The company is expecting earnings of at least $2.06 a share compared with Street estimates for $2.07.