The growth of at-home cooking seen throughout 2020 was a key factor driving sales at Newell Brands during the fourth quarter.
Company-wide net sales in the quarter ended December 31, 2020, were $2.7 billion, an increase of 2.5% compared with the fourth quarter of 2019.
In the company’s Appliance & Cookware segment, net sales in the fourth quarter were $577 million, up $7 million from the same quarter the year prior. The segment includes a host of brands such as Calphalon, Mr. Coffee and Oster.
“In the U.S., consumption increased during the fourth quarter and for the full year as more people have been cooking, baking and spending time at home,” said Ravi Saligram, president & CEO of Newell brands.
He noted the company has seen positive momentum with several recent innovations including the Mr. Coffee iced coffee maker, Oster Texture Select Blenders and the assortment of Oster cooking electrics featuring DiamondForce non-stick coasting.
Additionally, Newell’s Home Solutions segment reported quarterly net sales of $695 million, up from $47 million from the fourth quarter the prior year.
Company officials said growth in the segment was driven by product sales in Newell’s food storage, food preservation and canning businesses highlighted by key brands including Rubbermaid, FoodSaver and Ball. New product introductions helping boost sales include the FoodSaver VS3000 multiuse preservation system and Rubbermaid Brilliance Glass food storage.
Saligram said sales of Brillance are off to a strong start and FoodSaver is the fastest-growing brand across Newell.
While demand for cooking and food preservation products is expected to remain strong in 2021, the one challenge facing Newell Brands and other suppliers is adequate product supply.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges with maintaining normal manufacturing levels, especially at factories in China. The challenge now is moving products through U.S. ports, namely those on the west coast, said Chris Peterson, CFO & President, Business Operations, at Newell.
“We import a significant amount of containers through the Port of Los Angeles and that backlog has been a source of supply disruption for us,” he said. “We are getting products through (Los Angeles) and also shipping through other ports on the east coast and west coast.”
In fact, during a February 14 presentation of a FoodSaver vacuum sealer on QVC, show host David Venable encouraged viewers to consider purchasing the item given issues with inventory as a result of manufacturing and shipping challenges.