General Mills, Wild Wings felt storm's effects

  • Article by: MIKE HUGHLETT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 1, 2012 - 7:31 PM

Superstorm Sandy forced General Mills to temporarily close three East Coast plants this week, while a stock analyst says the storm may have also affected Buffalo Wild Wings' performance.

Golden Valley-based General Mills, one of the nation's largest packaged-foods companies, said it postponed production Monday at the plants, but resumed on Tuesday.

The company declined to comment on the plants' locations or what they produce, citing competitive reasons. According to a federal securities filing, General Mills has a Progresso soup plant in Vineland, N.J., and a Yoplait yogurt facility in Methuen, Mass.

General Mills also said Thursday it and the General Mills Foundation will commit $250,000 for superstorm Sandy-related relief efforts.

Meanwhile, a stock analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, Matthew DiFrisco, noted that Sandy could have hurt sales at Buffalo Wild Wings, particularly as the storm fell during Monday Night Football.

The fast-growing Golden Valley restaurant chain is based on a wings, beer and sports motif, and televised sports events are key sales drivers. "Mondays during the fall are meaningful revenue days due to NFL football," according to a research note Thursday by DiFrisco.

Based on Wild Wings' locations, 14 percent of its restaurants could have been affected by Sandy, a number that rises to nearly 20 percent if snowfall in the mid-Atlantic states is included, DiFrisco wrote.

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003

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