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Innovation of the Day: Smucker capitalizing on more consumers eating at home

The J.M. Smucker Co. has capitalized on the trend of more consumers eating at home, benefiting from increased demand for at-home coffee, pet food, frozen handhelds, and spreads. Rebecca Scheidler, the senior vice president and general manager of consumer foods at the company, highlighted several key trends driving consumer preferences and shaping Smucker's product innovation strategy:

1. Consumer Demand for Value: Consumers are seeking value in their food purchases, especially with the economic pressures of inflation. Trusted brands like Jif have seen increased demand as consumers prioritize familiar and reliable options.

2. Rise of Protein: With rising meat prices, consumers are looking for more affordable sources of protein. Scheidler mentioned that consumers have shifted towards products like Jif and peanut butter as alternative protein sources, driving growth in this category.

3. Convenience: As lifestyles become more fast-paced and on-the-go, there is a growing demand for convenient food options. Smucker is focusing on creating portable and convenient products like Jif portable squeeze packs and Uncrustables to cater to the needs of busy consumers.

4. Growth of Uncrustables Brand: Scheidler highlighted the success of the Uncrustables brand, which has experienced strong demand, leading to the expansion of production facilities to meet consumer needs. Uncrustables are positioned as a convenient lunchbox option for children but have potential for growth in various categories and formats.

5. Innovation for Portability: Smucker's research and development efforts are focused on developing products that are not only convenient for home consumption but also portable for daily activities such as school lunches or on-the-go snacking. This shift towards portable offerings aligns with evolving consumer preferences for convenience and flexibility.

Overall, Smucker's alignment with consumer trends, focus on value and convenience, and investment in innovative product offerings demonstrate the company's adaptability to changing consumer behaviors and preferences in the food industry.

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