BMO Harris Bank Issues Report on U.S. Food & Beverage Industry

BMO Harris Bank Issues Report on U.S. Food & Beverage Industry 
Elevated Commodity Prices Are Taking a Bite Out of a Positive Outlook 
CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 02/04/13 --  The Food & Beverage
industry, the third-largest manufacturing subsector in the U.S.,
should see a gradual strengthening of demand as the economic climate
continues to improve, although industry profitability remains highly
vulnerable to swings in commodity prices, says a new report on the
Food & Beverage industry issued today by BMO Harris Bank.  
"Consumer spending on Food & Beverage products in 2013 will likely
remain somewhat subdued," said Erica Kuhlmann, Managing Director and
Head, Food & Consumer Group, BMO Harris Bank. "However, we anticipate
a brighter outlook in 2014 and beyond, in line with our outlook for
the broader economy." 
"Longer-term demand growth is all but guaranteed, but the industry
will likely continue to grapple with elevated commodity prices," said
Aaron Goertzen, Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Due to the
competitive nature of the industry, selling prices have not risen
commensurately and this has taken a toll on profit margins. That
said, there is scope for input prices to ease in 2013 after being
driven up by particularly adverse crop conditions in 2012." 
Goertzen also noted the importance of the industry focusing on
capital investments, M&A activity and efficient distribution networks
to help improve productivity growth.  
To access the report, go to
https://resourcecenter.bmoharris.com/content/food-thought?free. 
About BMO Harris Bank 
 BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team
provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and
mid-market focus throughout the U.S. BMO Harris Bank provides a broad
range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600
branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin,
Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida.
Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank
N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by BMO
Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a
North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and
approximately $525 billion in assets (as of Oct. 31, 2012). 
Contact: 
Patrick O'Herlihy 
patrick.o'herlihy@bmo.com 
(312) 461-6970