After the Lamb Weston divestment, how will Conagra succeed in its next chapter?
- ConAgra Foods announced Thursday that it had completed its spin-off of Lamb Weston, according to a news release.
- The company, formerly known as ConAgra Foods, Inc., has also officially renamed itself Conagra Brands.
- This is the first time in company history that Conagra will be singularly focused on consumer brands.
Achieving a focus on consumer brands has been the driver of several divestment decisions Conagra has made over the past year, from Ralcorp, the private label brands business, to Spicetec and JM Swank. All of these divestments and investments in Lamb Weston and Conagra's consumer brands portfolio have paved the way for the next chapter in Conagra's company history.
The question now is how the new Conagra will approach revitalizing its staple of core brands and growing its new grocery acquisitions, like Frontera Foods. Ideally, Conagra's brands would be category leaders, especially considering growing competition from retailers' private label brands, but that hasn't always been the case. A Technomic exec said last year that Conagra lacked "power brands," which continues to be a struggle for the company and its portfolio.
But with the right kind of innovation, a packaged food-dominated portfolio like Conagra's could become more competitive. Companies like Kraft Heinz and Hostess have embraced the indulgence factor of many of their products, while other major manufacturers, such as Campbell and General Mills, have made notable changes to better align with consumer health trends. It's unclear which route Conagra might take, if not both, depending on the brand.