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Europe, USA: Positive effects of Covid on sales

19/01/2021 - Press release , François-Xavier Branthôme
La Doria, the exploit of the Covid's period: in the first nine months of 2020, revenues increased by 18.9% at of € 633.4 million and net profit almost doubled
The current marketing year will certainly be remembered as one of the best for Italy’s La Doria group, the main private labels player in the vegetable preserves sector. Due to the “revolution in consumption” brought by the coronavirus pandemic, consolidated revenues in the first nine months of 2020 grew by +19% (over the same period of 2019), higher than forecasts for the group, reaching 633 million euros. Revenue growth was very strong in the second quarter, when the lockdown imposed in Europe and all around the world favored the sales within the large-scale organized distribution. This is in fact the main sales channel for La Doria.

However, also in the third quarter, which was characterized by a relative return to normality, the company performed positively with revenues growing by almost +10% (equal to 191 million euros). The good performance in 2020 is mainly due to exports, which account for about 83% of total revenues. According to the company’s forecasts, this trend will continue in the fourth quarter of 2020. This is due to the pandemic resurgence in almost all countries of the world and the renewed home-consumption trend.
Net profit jumped to 36.6 million euros, a significant improvement compared to 19.1 million in the first nine months of 2019, which was partially positively influenced by the presence of foreign exchange income.

La Doria specializes in the production of tomato-based products, pasta sauces, canned vegetables, fruit juices, and beverages. It is a leading Italian producer of canned vegetables and tomato-based products (peeled and chopped tomatoes), the largest producer of pasta sauces under private labels, and the second-largest producer of fruit juices and beverages in Italy.
The company can boast leading positions in some demanding foreign markets, such as the UK, Australia and Japan. In the UK, it is a leading producer of tomato-based products and baked beans under private label.
Approximately 95% of La Doria’s sales are generated via private label, with clients such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Woolworths, Whole Foods, Sam’s Club, Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda, Lidl and ICA.

The best performance in the first nine months of 2020 was achieved in the red sauces segment, whose sales grew by +24%. Sauces now account for 13.5% of total revenues, and this share is increasing year on year. The red preserves performance, which grew by +17%, and legumes, which rose by 15%, was also good. The third-party trading increased by +26%.
According to the President Antonio Ferraioli, "The results achieved in this first part of the year are the result of the exceptional increase in volumes sold, the industrial efficiency achieved also thanks to the full implementation of the investments made in recent years and the extraordinary commitment and sense of responsibility of all our people. These results were also made possible thanks to the consolidated relationships that La Doria has been able to build over the years in a partnership logic with the national and international large-scale retail trade and to the great effort made, both from a production and logistical point of view, to satisfy the ''exceptional peak in demand for goods from customers and consumers", an effort that we hope will be capitalized in the future for a further consolidation of commercial relations with Retailers who have greatly appreciated the reliability and excellent performance of the Group in a moment of great criticality".

USA: Pandemic propels pizza to the forefront
Earlier in 2020, Technomic’s Pizza Trend Report identified that 43% of consumers eat pizza at least once a week. And as many consumer preferences have changed since the start of the pandemic, what consumers expect from fresh deli-prepared pizzas — taste, quality and value — has stayed the same, said Stuart Demanowski, senior product manager of the pizza and flatbread category business unit at Buffalo, NY-based Rich’s Foods.
Consumption of made-to-order and take-and-bake items has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic as consumers shift to dining at-home vs. away from home,” Mr. Demanowski said. “We’re also seeing consumers purchase more cost-effective meals that are widely popular, filling, and have the potential to feed multiple people. Pizza satisfies all of the above.”

Since COVID-19 hit, Rich’s has seen tremendous growth in deli-prepared and frozen pizza purchases. Consumers are using pizzas as easy meal solutions they can stock up and store in their freezers. Holly LaVallie, vice president of Hormel Deli Solutions, a division of Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods, said consumers also are being drawn to pizza programs that leave room for ordering flexibility.
COVID-19 has steered consumers to look for pizza programs that provide them the ability to add to their pickup order, customize toppings and have tamper-proof packaging or no-touch collection points,” Ms. LaVallie said. “As people are eating together at home more often, we’ve seen a shift away from pizza sold by the slice toward more whole pizza purchases for family occasions.”

According to Technomic, it’s hard to deny the growing plant-based industry and its impact on the pizza category. According to Nielsen, 39% of US shoppers are trying to eat more plants. “The plant-based trend can’t be ignored,” Mr. Demanowski said. “From gluten-free and vegan to vegetarian and keto-friendly, Rich’s has debuted pizza products that require less labor, less prep time and less waste, while giving consumers the plant-based options they’re looking for with the same delicious texture and taste.”

Hormel Foods is the pizza topping expert and we can help design a successful pizza program by offering several topping varieties and the convenient pizza options customers are looking for,” Ms. LaVallie said.

Pandemic continues to drive sales for Campbell Soup
Camden based Campbell Soup continues to see strong sales as people seek comfort food while staying indoors.

Food Business News reports sales were up another 7% over the same period last year; soup sales were up 21%. Driving the increase was the company’s Meals and Beverages division, with CEO Mark Clouse quoted as saying, “Our condensed soups were the highlight of the quarter, with double-digit net sales growth gains in share.” He said the Snacks division, which includes brands like Pop Secret, Snyder’s Pretzels, and Goldfish, provided impressive results as well.
The Camden mainstay also believes that growth will continue because they saw recipe related page views on their website increase 20%. Mark Clouse says they "continue to bring new ideas and recipes to consumers who are cooking more frequently at home. As these first-time cooks gain more confidence, we believe they will likely continue to use these skills to prepare more meals at home well beyond the pandemic.” The pandemic has also changed the way people shop for food, opting for delivery and shopping online, “e-commerce sales of Campbell Soup products jumped 85% during the quarter, versus a year earlier."
Commenting on its results for its first-quarter fiscal 2021, CEO Mark Clouse announced “a 6% increase to its quarterly dividend, reflecting the company’s strong earnings performance, cash flows and increasing confidence in our long-term growth prospects, as well as our continued commitment to shareholder returns.”

Some complementary data

Webinar_Conference_TomatoNews Nov 2020


Further details in attached documents:
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