Campbell’s CEO says shelves will be stocked for holidays, but prices will rise into 2022

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(NEW YORK) — The pandemic has slowed down the supply chain in many sectors, but Campbell’s CEO says he expects the company’s products to be fully available this holiday season.

Mark Clouse, CEO of Campbell’s Soup Company told “Good Morning America” a week ahead of Thanksgiving, that the company’s efforts are the result of “the amazing work of our teams on the front lines and plants and logistics and sales teams.”

“You’ll have all of your holiday favorites on the shelves ready to go. They’ve worked hard to do it and, you know, I would say plan early, but I think we’re in great shape going into the holidays,” he said.

But availability isn’t the only concern for consumers — paying more at checkout has also been a burgeoning issue nationwide.

After a full year into the pandemic, the Economic Research Service for the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted the cost of food from grocery stores would rise 1-2% this year. The latest Consumer Price Index Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the food-at-home index increased 1% over the month as all six major grocery store food group indexes continued to rise.

“Food-at-home” is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as grocery store or supermarket food purchases.

“There’s also been a significant amount of inflation that we’ve seen over the last several months,” Clouse said. “We use every tool we’ve got to keep price affordable. We know how important it is, especially for this time of year and through holiday celebrations so we’ve worked hard to keep the prices reasonable but there has been an increase in price.”

The index for other food at home — not including meat, poultry fish or eggs — “rose 1.2% over the month, its largest monthly increase since April 2020, near the onset of the pandemic,” the BLS report stated. “Cereals and bakery products rose 1% in October following a 1.1% increase the prior month. The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.8 percent in October, the index for dairy and related products rose 0.2%, and the index for fruits and vegetables advanced 0.1%.”

Clouse continued: “Inflation, I would expect to continue to see as we move forward into ’22, but count on us to be doing everything we can to find ways to keep the prices reasonable and affordable, especially through the holiday season.”

To help offset the rising production costs that could be passed on to consumers, Clouse said Campbell’s has relied on “a combination of bringing in a lot of new workers into our facilities as well as the teams performing very well.”

“I would expect as we go into ’22 you’re going to see steady improvement on that front and we’re expecting as we get into the new year to be fully back in supply on most of our products,” he added.

As shoppers head to the store before Thanksgiving, Clouse said “I’m hopeful for everybody that you have a wonderful happy Thanksgiving. My advice is get online, get your recipes, figure out those ingredients you need for your dishes, get out early to the store and get them ready to go.”

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