Berkshire Hathaway investors who needed to buy sugar urgently at Saturday’s annual meeting were in luck. See’s Candies and Berkshire-owned Dairy Queen both have popular booths on the show floor.
“People need their candy,” said Pat Egan, president and CEO of See’s Candies. But inflation is a concern.
Egan noted that See’s has increased the prices of some products due to higher packaging and material costs. But he added that much of what the company needs to make the candy comes from the US, meaning there will be less worry about higher overseas shipping costs.
Egan said last year was the company’s best year for sales ever, with revenue up 26% from pre-Covid 2019 levels, adding that e-commerce sales were particularly strong.
Dairy Queen CEO Troy Bader says the ice cream chain is also doing well, especially as they have added shredded chicken, burgers and other lunch items to the menu.
However, inflation remains a big problem for consumers.
“Inflation is heating up. Consumers are spending more on housing, vehicle fuel, utilities,” Bader said.
He added that higher labor and equipment costs are also a challenge for Dairy Queen franchisees. That is why many people have chosen to increase the price of certain items on the menu.
But Bader said Dairy Queen franchise operators had to “thread the needle” because the chain didn’t want to lose customers. The price increase is necessary to protect profit margins. However, the risk is that consumers may be rejected, which will affect sales.