Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Food vs foreign currency

February 4, 2009

Check Out Sara Lee and Kraft Foods joining the “stronger dollar” bandwagon. KRAFT/

Both food makers cut their profit forecasts for the current year, citing the pain they expect from the stronger U.S. dollar decreasing the value of sales from international markets.

But currency alone is not to blame for oversease woes.

Sara Lee said it is seeing pressure in certain overseas markets due to worsening economic conditions.

“In our international business we are adjusting our plans and refocusing our resources to help offset significant economic downturns in many of our key markets, most notably Spain, France and the United Kingdom,” sad Brenda Barnes, the company’s chief executive officer.

Meanwhile, Kraft’s CEO said the company is seeing a slowdown in sales growth in the EU and developing markets.

Sara Lee, which makes Jimmy Dean breakfast sausages and its namesake bakery products, and Kraft, which sells Oreo cookies and its namesake cheese, have also faced increased competition from private label manufacturers as shoppers seek to save every dollar they can amid a deepening global recession.

Even though we all must eat, it looks like even food makers are being foiled by the recession.

Also in the basket:

Costco warns on 2nd qtr results; shares fall

Clorox profit falls, cutting 170 jobs

Polo posts lower quarterly profit

Baugur’s demise puts UK retail assets in play

No People at Wal-Mart – NY Post

(Photo: Reuters)

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