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The J.M. Smucker Company (SJM), ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG), Boulder Brands Inc (BDBD): Who’s The Best Of This Old-School Bunch?

Boulder Brands Inc (NASDAQ:BDBD)

While not a household name, Boulder Brands Inc (NASDAQ:BDBD) has a solid position in the peanut spread category with its Smart Balance and Earth balance brand names. The company is also igniting sales momentum through a focus on the organic segment, including recent acquisitions of gluton-free pioneers Glutino and Udi’s. With less marketing power than its competitors, Boulder Brands Inc (NASDAQ:BDBD) has been riding the population’s increased health consciousness to greater shelf space at the nation’s grocers, with retailers adding over 600 individual products in 2012.

In its latest fiscal year, Boulder Brands Inc (NASDAQ:BDBD) delivered strong overall sales growth, as its natural segment generated high, double-digit comparable sales gains. The company’s sales gains have been a function of product diversification efforts, including new products in the frozen food, dessert, and snacks areas. However, its peanut spread segment reported weak results, as customers opted for lower-priced competitor products. With its well-known Smart Balance brand name, though, Boulder Brands Inc (NASDAQ:BDBD) is likely to remain a key competitor in the peanut spread space, especially among the health-conscious customer cohort.

The bottom line

Success in the peanut butter category requires significant scale and resources in order to be able to reach customers at an appealing price point. With that metric in mind, The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM) and ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) are currently at the head of the class and belong on investors’ watchlists.

The article Finding a Way to Play an American Classic originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Robert Hanley.

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