Lower income households feeling pressure: Campbell Soup CEO

The Campbell Soup Company (CPB) reported fiscal first quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates, though organic net sales fell 1% from a year ago. The company’s CEO, Mark Clouse, says one of the trends they are starting to see is “some bifurcation in consumer attitudes and behaviors.” “The lower income households are really feeling pressure right now,” Clouse explains, with higher interest rates, reductions in SNAP benefits, and the resumption of student loan payments all being headwinds. However, “more middle-to-upper income households are continuing to be very resilient,” Clause says, adding “a lot of our premium brands are actually doing very, very well.”

Click here to watch the full interview on the Mark Clouse or you can watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live here.

Video Transcript

Mark, hang with me on this next question. So before this interview, I went to the Yahoo Finance home page and you can clearly see gold prices at a near record high, crypto is back above 42,000, stocks are still at record highs. Is that, I guess, euphoria in certain markets or investing in stocks gold, whatever it is, is that euphoria being seen in consumers? I’m trying to figure out is what we’re seeing in markets is justified from the consumer in this country.

MARK CLOUSE: Yeah. you know what’s interesting about that, I think part of what makes this moment complicated and I would say to a certain degree unfortunate, is you are seeing some bifurcation in consumer attitudes and behaviors. And unfortunately, I think in particular, the lower income households are really feeling pressure right now.

And even though in the backdrop of some of the broader macroeconomic variables that may look a little bit more encouraging, I think in that particular consumer demographic you’re experiencing reductions in SNAP benefits, you’re likely experiencing higher interest rates as it relates to debt or how it’s relating to your mortgage, housing costs in general higher, you might be paying your education loan as well.

And so as we think about servicing different contexts of consumers, it’s really important that we maintain that affordability, and that access, and that we’re providing solutions that for that lower income household will really benefit from it. And it’s even more pronounced. I think as a responsibility as we walk into this holiday period.

Conversely, our more middle to upper income households are continuing to be very resilient. A lot of our premium brands are actually doing very, very well. And so you do see a little bit of this segregation, and I think that’s unfortunately causing a little bit of this tension in narrative between how do we really feel about the economy, right.



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