Pet food boom drives General Mills sales higher

No dog days of summer for General Mills: A boom in pet food fueled its top line. The food maker benefited from the spike in adoptions of cats and dogs as people sought furry companions during the health crisis.

Quarterly pet food revenue jumped 25%, helping drive net sales up more than 4%. That, along with adjusted profit, beat analysts’ estimates.

General Mills has also launched new items and bought Tyson Foods' pet treats business to take advantage of the demand surge. The momentum in pet food cushioned a slowdown in demand for General Mills’ cooking sauces and baking products. Sales receded from their peak last year when people stuck indoors stockpiled goods and cooked at home. Higher freight costs, labor shortages and rising raw materials prices weighed on gross margins for Betty Crocker cake mixes.

But investors were cheerful Wednesday, bidding shares of the Cheerios cereal maker up nearly 4% in early trading.

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