The J. M. Smucker Company gets its bread and butter from more than just making and marketing jelly. The company, known for manufacturing its namesake Smucker's fruit spread and for selling the Jif peanut butter brand, has expanded its product portfolio to include Folgers, the #1-coffee brand in the US, as well as market leaders in espresso (Café Bustelo) and premium java (Dunkin' Donuts, licensed). Other top-shelf lines are Hungry Jack and Pillsbury baking mixes and frostings, Eagle canned milk, and Crisco shortening and oils, among others. Smucker's brands are sold to consumers through retail outlets in the US and Canada, with some products exported.
Smucker's operations are divided among four business segments: US Retail Coffee, US Retail Pet Foods, US Retail Consumer Foods, and International, Foodservice, and Natural Foods. The US retail market segments are distinguished by product, which combined account for more than 75% of the company's sales. (Consumer foods and coffee each contributed 37% of revenue in fiscal 2015.)
The International, Foodservice, and Natural Foods segment (22% of sales) comprises Smucker's portfolio of brands that are distributed both at home and abroad through retailers (grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores, and drug stores), as well as through food service suppliers and operators, such as restaurants, educational and health care institutions, and natural foods stores.
After acquiring Big Heart, Smucker established its newest segment, US Retail Pet Foods. That unit contributed 4% of revenue in 2015.
Smucker's long-term agreements include one with Dunkin' Donuts to manufacture and market its namesake coffee brand; the pact is effective until 2034. In the single-serve coffee market, Smucker holds sway through a manufacturing and distribution deal with Keurig Green Mountain and Keurig. Smucker also totes royalty-free licensing agreements with General Mills, National Dairy, and Nestlé to make and sell, respectively, Pillsbury flour and baking mixes, Borden canned milk, and Carnation canned milk.
Smucker operates in the US, where it generates more than 90% of its revenue. It has an international presence, as well, through its extended reach into Canada, Mexico, and China. The company has established a small customer base along with some manufacturing facilities in Canada, and a limited export market.
Sales and Marketing
Products are sold through direct sales and brokers to a broad range of retailers. Wal-Mart and subsidiaries account for more than a quarter of sales. Indeed, the company's top 10 customers generate some 60% of Smucker's revenue. The company's International, Foodservice, and Natural Foods business distributes Smucker's products through retailers and food service suppliers and operators both domestically and internationally.
In fiscal 2015 Smucker spent about $107 million on advertising, down slightly from $125 million the prior year.
The company saw revenue increased 1% to $5.6 billion in fiscal 2015 (ended April), largely due to the addition of the US Retail Pet Foods segment, which offset lagging sales of coffee and consumer foods.
Net income, which has been fluctuating over the past few years, decreased by $220.3 million to $344.9 million as Smucker saw selling, distribution, and administrative expenses go up. This was largely due to the acquisition of Big Heart. Cash flow from operations declined $122.8 million to $733.2 million, primarily due to changes in assets and accrued liabilities.
Smucker's strategy focuses on growth through owning and marketing the #1 brand name food products in North America, with potential for worldwide appeal. Acquisitions and manufacturing and distribution agreements underpin these ends. As part of the company’s long-term growth objectives, it is working to increase sales by 6% and earnings per share by more than 8% annually on average. While the sales contribution from acquisitions will vary from year to year, it expects organic growth, including new products, to add up to 4% per year and acquisitions to contribute the remainder over the long term. Products launched in 2015 included Café Bustelo K-Cup pods and Jif To Go Dippers; pipeline products range from Dunkin' Donuts K-Cup pods to Milk-Bone Good Morning dog vitamin treats.
In response to ongoing declines in the green coffee futures market, Smucker lowered the prices of most of its US packaged coffee products (with the exception of its K-Cup pods) in 2015. It slashed prices by an average of 6%; the move was intended to bring coffee sales volumes back up.
With the 2015 acquisition of Big Heart Pet Brands, the company instantly became a player in the growing pet food and snacks market. The company plans to pay down debt it took to finance that purchase over the next three to five years.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In early 2015, Smucker purchased Big Heart Pet Brands in a cash and stock transaction valued at $5.8 billion (including $2.6 billion of debt). Smucker gained a huge product portfolio with the deal, adding such notable names as Mew Mix, Milk-Bone, Kibbles 'n Bits, Natural Balance, and Milo's Kitchen, among others, to its own list of brands.
In 2014, the company bought Sahale Snacks, a maker of nut and fruit mixes. The Seattle-based company rings up an estimated $50 million in annual sales from warehouse clubs, convenience stores, and supermarkets. In 2013, Smucker purchased privately held $45 million-in-sales Enray to strengthen its natural foods business. Enray, which is based in California, is a supplier of organic grains, beans, and seeds.