This is the second article in a four-part weekly series that looks at how food and beverage companies fared during the pandemic. All articles in this series can be found here.
Next week, Food Dive looks at the companies that did not follow the same growth pattern as most.
After years of slow growth — if any — the COVID-19 pandemic gave food companies a large sales boost.
In the past 12 months of pandemic consumer patterns, many food companies have seen a lot more sales than the year before. But some food companies have seen just the opposite: large losses because of pandemic-related problems related to sales, production and consumer perceptions of their products.
Food Dive looked at earnings reports of several U.S.-based, publicly traded food companies from the previous eight quarters to examine the impact of the pandemic on their sales and growth. The following charts compare sales during the four most recent quarters — which took place at least partially during stay-at-home orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic — to the same quarters a year before that.
Comparing sales during the two years shows some big gains — and losses — but the general pattern of sales for companies has tended to stay the same. For example, most food companies that had higher sales in the summer months before the pandemic also did so during the pandemic, but the amount of sales increased. But this didn't hold true for all companies. Coca-Cola, for example, saw a sales drop last summer — its usual high point — most likely because event venues were closed.
While there are several similar charts here, each one has its own scale, optimized to show patterns in each company's sales.