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PepsiCo's new macaroni and cheese is 'flying off the shelf': CFO

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read

And who said soda giant PepsiCo (PEP) couldn’t make a good box of mac and cheese.

“The product is flying off the shelves,” PepsiCo CFO Hugh Johnston told Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade Thursday, referring to the company’s recently introduced Cheetos Mac ‘n Cheese. Yahoo Finance first reported in July on the company’s entry into a category dominated for years by blue boxes sold by Kraft Heinz.

The launch isn’t as bizarre as it would seem at first blush. PepsiCo is no stranger to hawking packaged food — it has long sold Rice-a-Roni boxed rice and Aunt Jemima syrup under its Quaker Oats division.

Johnston said back in the summer the introduction was borne from PepsiCo studying new consumer eating trends amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bet appears to be paying early dividends, and now has executives at the company thinking about ways to capitalize.

Said Johnston Thursday morning, “We literally can’t make enough. So every box we make, we’re selling almost immediately. And I expect over time we’ll be adding a lot of capacity. We think this is a big new idea.”

Cheetos Mac 'n Cheese PepsiCo CFO Hugh Johnston
PepsiCo CFO Hugh Johnston holds up a box of its latest creation — Cheetos Mac 'n Cheese.

That said, it’s not as if PepsiCo needs mac and cheese to make its quarterly numbers. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has added a lot of costs to the businesses of Big Food, PepsiCo blew away analyst earnings estimates again in the third quarter. The company reported diluted earnings per share of $1.66 and net sales of $18.09 billion, beating estimates of $1.49 per share and net sales of $17.23 billion.

Sales were powered by demand for the aforementioned Rica-a-Roni, Tostitos, Quaker Oats oatmeal, Gatorade and the core Pepsi soda business.

PepsiCo shares rose 1% in Thursday afternoon trading.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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