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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 28, 2019

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission file number 1-16247

 

FLOWERS FOODS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Georgia

 

58-2582379

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(IRS Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

1919 Flowers Circle

Thomasville, Georgia

 

31757

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:

(229226-9110

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.01 par value

 

FLO

 

NYSE

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

☐  

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes      No  

Based on the closing sales price on the New York Stock Exchange on July 13, 2019 the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $4,764,777,380.

On February 13, 2020, the number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s Common Stock, $0.01 par value, was 211,575,015.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held May 21, 2020, which is expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on or about April 8, 2020, have been incorporated by reference into Part III, Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 

 

 


 

FORM 10-K REPORT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

 

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

4

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

11

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

18

Item 2.

Properties

19

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

19

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

19

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

Item 5.

Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

20

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

22

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

24

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

44

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

44

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

44

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

45

Item 9B.

Other Information

45

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

46

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

46

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

46

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

46

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

46

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

47

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

51

 

Signatures

52

 

1


 

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this filing and certain other written or oral statements made from time to time by Flowers Foods, Inc. (the “company”, “Flowers Foods”, “Flowers”, “us”, “we”, or “our”) and its representatives that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements relate to current expectations regarding our future financial condition and results of operations and are often identified by the use of words and phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would,” “is likely to,” “is expected to” or “will continue,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions we believe are reasonable.

Forward-looking statements are based on current information and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected. Certain factors that may cause actual results, performance, liquidity, and achievements to differ materially from those projected are discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Form 10-K”) and may include, but are not limited to:

 

unexpected changes in any of the following: (i) general economic and business conditions; (ii) the competitive setting in which we operate, including advertising or promotional strategies by us or our competitors, as well as changes in consumer demand; (iii) interest rates and other terms available to us on our borrowings; (iv) energy and raw materials costs and availability and hedging counter-party risks; (v) relationships with or increased costs related to our employees and third-party service providers; and (vi) laws and regulations (including environmental and health-related issues), accounting standards or tax rates in the markets in which we operate;

 

the loss or financial instability of any significant customer(s), including as a result of product recalls or safety concerns related to our products;

 

changes in consumer behavior, trends and preferences, including health and whole grain trends;

 

the level of success we achieve in developing and introducing new products and entering new markets;

 

our ability to implement new technology and customer requirements as required;

 

our ability to operate existing, and any new, manufacturing lines according to schedule;

 

our ability to execute our business strategies, including those strategies we have initiated under Project Centennial, which may involve, among other things, (i) the integration of acquisitions or the acquisition or disposition of assets at presently targeted values, (ii) the deployment of new systems and technology, and (iii) an enhanced organizational structure;

 

consolidation within the baking industry and related industries;

 

changes in pricing, customer and consumer reaction to pricing actions, and the pricing environment among competitors within the industry;

 

disruptions in our direct-store-delivery distribution model, including litigation or an adverse ruling by a court or regulatory or governmental body that could affect the independent contractor classifications of the independent distributors;

 

increasing legal complexity and legal proceedings that we are or may become subject to;

 

increases in employee and employee-related costs, including funding of pension plans;

 

the credit, business, and legal risks associated with independent distributors and customers, which operate in the highly competitive retail food and foodservice industries;

 

any business disruptions due to political instability, armed hostilities, incidents of terrorism, natural disasters, labor strikes or work stoppages, technological breakdowns, product contamination, product recalls or safety concerns related to our products, or the responses to or repercussions from any of these or similar events or conditions and our ability to insure against such events;

 

the failure of our information technology (“IT”) systems to perform adequately, including any interruptions, intrusions or security breaches of such systems; and

 

regulation and legislation related to climate change that could affect our ability to procure our commodity needs or that necessitate additional unplanned capital expenditures.

2


 

The foregoing list of important factors does not include all such factors, nor necessarily present them in order of importance. In addition, you should consult other disclosures made by the company (such as in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or in company press releases) for other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected by the company. Refer to Part I, Item 1A., Risk Factors, of this Form 10-K for additional information regarding factors that could affect the company’s results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

We caution you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as they speak only as of the date made and are inherently uncertain. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise or update such statements, except as required by law. You are advised, however, to consult any further public disclosures by the company (such as in our filings with the SEC or in company press releases) on related subjects.

We own or have rights to trademarks or trade names that we use in connection with the operation of our business, including our corporate names, logos and website names. In addition, we own or have the rights to copyrights, trade secrets and other proprietary rights that protect the content of our products and the formulations for such products. Solely for convenience, some of the trademarks, trade names and copyrights referred to in this Form 10-K are listed without the ©, ® and ™ symbols, but we will assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights to our trademarks, trade names and copyrights.

3


 

PART I

Item 1.

Business

The Company

Flowers Foods, Inc. (which we reference to herein as “we,” “our,” “us,” the “company,” “Flowers” or “Flowers Foods”) was founded in 1919 as a Georgia corporation when two brothers — William Howard and Joseph Hampton Flowers — opened Flowers Baking Company in Thomasville, Georgia. Flowers’ operating strategy from the beginning was to invest in efficient and technologically advanced bakeries, offer excellent baked foods, build strong brands, provide extraordinary service to customers, offer a workplace that fosters a team spirit, develop innovations to improve the business, and grow through strategic acquisitions.

Flowers is focused on opportunities for growth within the baked foods category and seeks to have its products available wherever bakery foods are sold or consumed — whether in homes, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, fast food outlets, institutions, or vending machines. The company produces a wide range of breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes, and tortillas and is currently the second-largest producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the United States (“U.S.”).

Segment

We currently manage our business as one operating segment. On May 3, 2017, the company announced an enhanced organizational structure designed to provide greater focus on the company’s long-term strategic objectives, emphasize brand growth and innovation in line with a national branded food company, drive enhanced accountability, and reduce costs.  The new organizational structure establishes two business units (“BUs”) - Fresh Packaged Bread and Snacking/Specialty - and realigns key leadership roles.  The new structure also provides for centralized marketing, sales, supply chain, shared services/administrative, and corporate strategy functions, each with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.  The company has concluded that under the new organizational structure it has one operating segment based on the nature of products the company sells, its intertwined production and distribution model, the internal management structure and information that is regularly reviewed by the chief executive officer (“CEO”), who is the chief operating decision maker, for the purpose of assessing performance and allocating resources. Capital allocations, such as building a new bakery or other investments, impact both BUs, as the two BUs are so intertwined in production, sales, marketing and other functions. Beginning with the first quarter of 2019, the comparative periods are presented on a consolidated basis due to the change to a single operating segment.

See Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Form 10-K for more detailed financial information about our operating segment. Our brands are among the best known in the baking industry. Many of our brands have a major presence in the product categories in which they compete. They have a leading share of fresh packaged branded sales measured in both dollars and units in the major metropolitan areas we serve in Southern markets.

Value Creation Strategies

In June 2016, the company launched Project Centennial, an enterprise-wide business and operational review to evaluate opportunities to streamline our operations, drive efficiencies, and invest in strategic capabilities that we believe will strengthen our competitive position and help us achieve our long-term objectives to build value for our shareholders. Since 2017, the company has been executing on the following strategic priorities:

 

Reinvigorate core business. Focus on national brands, streamline the product assortment, align brands to consumers, invest in brand growth and innovation, and support independent distributor partners (“IDPs”).  

 

Reduce costs to fuel growth. Prioritize margins, simplify and streamline our operating model, optimize product portfolio and supply chain network, and better leverage our national footprint.

 

Capitalize on adjacencies. Make smart acquisitions in the baked foods category in growing bakery segments and underdeveloped geographic areas.

 

Invest in capabilities and growth. Develop the team by adding critical capabilities to build brands, manage costs, and deliver insights.

4


 

By delivering on these strategic imperatives, the company expects to deliver on its stated long-term goals of sales growth in the range of 2% to 4% and EBITDA margins in the range of 12% to 14%. The company defines EBITDA as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Since transitioning to these strategies in fiscal 2017, the company has:

 

Updated its incentive compensation framework to continue recruitment and development of our executive team.

 

Conducted marketing campaigns for Nature’s Own and Wonder to increase brand awareness.

 

Developed a strategic pricing initiative to address inflationary headwinds.

 

Hired a corporate development officer to concentrate on strategic options, including targeted merger and acquisition activities.

 

Realized continued growth from new product introductions of Nature’s Own Perfectly Crafted breads, a line of artisan-inspired, thick-sliced bakery breads, and Dave’s Killer Bread (“DKB”) bagels and English muffins.

 

Acquired Canyon Bakehouse, LLC (“Canyon”), a privately held, leading producer of gluten-free bakery foods.

 

Conducted a foundational consumer research study to inform and accelerate product innovation and engaged a leading consumer-focused advertising agency.

 

Realigned key leadership roles and appointed a chief operating officer (“COO”) to enhance execution and accountability.

 

Established two BUs - Fresh Packaged Bread and Snacking/Specialty - and refined organizational structure to better align operating functions.

 

Activated a trade promotion management system to increase promotional effectiveness, enhance price realizations, and improve profitability.

 

Added a high-speed production line to bakeries in Pennsylvania and Georgia and closed inefficient bakeries in Vermont, Alabama, and North Carolina.

 

Added organic production in the Northeast.

 

Implemented working capital policies that improved the cash conversion cycle and generated incremental cash flow.

 

Streamlined our brand assortment in key retail categories.

 

Hired a chief marketing officer.

 

Completed a voluntary employee separation incentive plan (the “VSIP”) as part of its effort to restructure and streamline operations.

 

Between 2017 and 2018, realized total gross savings above the upper end of our $70 million to $80 million target, primarily through a more efficient organizational structure and reduced spending on purchased goods and services.

 

Employees

We strive to treat all our team members and associates with respect and dignity and work to maintain good relationships and open communication. We are committed to equal employment opportunities and operating our facilities under all federal and state employment laws and regulations. In addition, our subsidiaries provide:

 

Fair and equitable compensation and a balanced program of benefits,

 

Working conditions that promote employees’ health and safety,

 

Training opportunities that encourage professional development, and

 

Ways for team members to discuss concerns through an open-door policy, peer review program, and anonymous toll-free hotline.

We employ approximately 9,700 people. Approximately 1,160 of these employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

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Brands & Products

The company reports sales as branded retail, store branded retail, or non-retail and other.  The non-retail and other category includes foodservice, restaurant, institutional, vending, thrift stores, and contract manufacturing.  The table below presents our major brands and the geographic locations in the U.S. where our products are available:

 

Brand

 

Availability

Natures Own, DKB, Wonder, Canyon Bakehouse, Mrs.

   Freshleys, Tastykake

 

Nationally, in select markets

Alpine Valley, Aunt Hatties, Bunny, Butternut, Butterkrust,

   Captain John Derst, Country Kitchen, Evangeline Maid,

   Home Pride, Merita, Sara Lee (California), Sunbeam

 

Available in select regional markets across the country

Brand Highlights

 

Nature’s Own, including Whitewheat, is the best-selling loaf bread in the U.S.  The Nature’s Own sales, at retail, surpassed $1.0 billion during fiscal 2017.

 

Nature’s Own Honey Wheat is the #1 Universal Product Code (“UPC”) based on dollars and units in the U.S.  Nature’s Own Butterbread is the #4 UPC based on dollars and #2 based on units. (Source: IRI Total US MultiOutlet+C-Store L52 Weeks Ending 12/29/19)

 

DKB is the #1 selling organic brand in the U.S. and the company’s #2 brand, with the top-selling organic brand in four different segments (Loaf, Bagels, Breakfast Bread, and English Muffins). DKB is the fastest growing brand in the Fresh Packaged Breads category, based on dollar sales change versus prior year. (Source: IRI Total US MultiOutlet+C-Store L52 Weeks Ending 12/29/19)

 

Canyon Bakehouse is the #1 selling gluten-free bread brand in the U.S. (Source: IRI Total US MultiOutlet+C-Store L52 Weeks Ending 12/29/19)

 

 

The table below presents our sales by product mix for fiscal 2019 on a consolidated basis.  Internal sales data warehouse (“SDW”) amounts may not compute due to rounding.

 

 

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The table below presents our sales by channel for fiscal 2019 on a consolidated basis.  Internal SDW amounts may not compute due to rounding.

 

 

Marketing

We support our key brands with an advertising and marketing effort that reaches out to consumers through electronic and in-store coupons, social media (such as Facebook and Twitter), digital media (including e-newsletters to consumers), websites (our brand sites and third-party sites), event and sports marketing, on-package promotional offers and sweepstakes, and print advertising. When appropriate, we may join other sponsors with promotional tie-ins. We often focus our marketing efforts on specific products and holidays, such as hamburger and hot dog bun sales during Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, and snack cakes for specific seasons.

Customers

Our top 10 customers in fiscal 2019 accounted for 51.0% of sales. During fiscal 2019, our largest customer, Walmart/Sam’s Club, represented 21.1% of the company’s sales. The loss of, or a material negative change in our relationship with, Walmart/Sam’s Club or any other major customer could have a material adverse effect on our business. Walmart/Sam’s Club was the only customer to account for 10.0% or more of our sales during fiscal years 2019, 2018, and 2017.

Fresh baked foods’ customers include mass merchandisers, supermarkets and other retailers, restaurants, quick-serve chains, food wholesalers, institutions, dollar stores, and vending companies. We also sell returned and surplus product through a system of thrift stores. The company currently operates 282 such stores and reported sales of $74.8 million during fiscal 2019 from these outlets.

We also (1) supply national and regional restaurants, institutions and foodservice distributors, and retail in-store bakeries with breads and rolls; (2) sell packaged bakery products to wholesale distributors for ultimate sale to a wide variety of food outlets; and (3) sell packaged snack cakes primarily to customers who distribute them nationwide through multiple channels of distribution, including mass merchandisers, supermarkets, vending outlets and convenience stores. In certain circumstances, we enter into co-packing arrangements with retail customers or other food companies, some of which are competitors.

Distribution

We distribute our products through a direct-store-delivery (“DSD”) distribution system and a warehouse delivery system.  The DSD distribution system involves aggregating order levels and delivering products from bakeries to independent distributors for sale and direct delivery to customer stores. The independent distributors are responsible for ordering products, stocking shelves, maintaining special displays, and developing and maintaining good customer relations to ensure adequate inventory and removing unsold goods.  The warehouse delivery system involves primarily delivering our products to customers’ warehouses.

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The company has sold the majority of the distribution rights for territories to independent distributors under long-term financing arrangements. Independent distributors, highly motivated by financial incentives from their distribution rights ownership, strive to increase sales by offering outstanding service and merchandising. Independent distributors have the opportunity to benefit directly from the enhanced value of their distribution rights resulting from higher branded sales volume.

Our DSD distribution system is comprised of three types of territories: (1) independent distributors who own the rights to distribute certain brands of our fresh packaged bakery foods in defined geographic markets; (2) company-owned and operated territories with distribution rights that are classified as available for sale; and (3) other company operated territories.  The table below presents the approximate number of territories used by the company on December 28, 2019:

 

Type of territory

 

Number of

territories

 

Independent distributor owned and operated distribution rights

 

 

5,590

 

Company-owned classified as available for sale

 

 

156

 

Other company operated territories

 

 

177

 

Total territories

 

 

5,923

 

 

The company has developed proprietary software on the hand-held computers independent distributors use for ordering, sales transactions, and to manage their businesses. The company provides these hand-held computers to the independent distributors and charges them an administrative fee for their use and other administrative services.  This fee is recognized as a reduction to the company’s selling, distribution and administrative expenses.  Our proprietary software permits distributors to track and communicate inventory data to bakeries and to calculate recommended order levels based on historical sales data and recent trends. These orders are electronically transmitted to the appropriate bakery on a nightly basis. We believe this system assists us in minimizing returns of unsold goods.  The fees collected for each of the last three fiscal years were as follows (amounts in thousands):

 

Year

 

Fees collected

 

Fiscal 2019

 

$

7,546

 

Fiscal 2018

 

$

7,399

 

Fiscal 2017

 

$

6,965

 

 

In addition to hand-held computers, we maintain an IT platform that allows us to track sales, product returns, and profitability by selling location, bakery, day, and other criteria. The system provides us with daily, on-line access to sales and gross margin reports, allowing us to make prompt operational adjustments when appropriate. It also permits us to better forecast sales and improve independent distributors’ in-store product ordering by customer. This IT platform is integral to our hand-held computers.

We also use scan-based trading technology (referred to as “pay by scan” or “PBS”) to track and monitor sales and inventories more effectively. PBS allows the independent distributors to bypass the often-lengthy product check-in with certain retail customers, which gives them more time to service customers and merchandise products. PBS also benefits retailers, who only pay suppliers for what they actually sell, or what is scanned at checkout. During the last three fiscal years, PBS sales were as follows (amounts in thousands):

 

Year

 

PBS sales

 

Fiscal 2019

 

$

1,883,846

 

Fiscal 2018

 

$

1,729,429

 

Fiscal 2017

 

$

1,390,974

 

 

Our warehouse distribution system delivers a portion of our packaged bakery snack products from a central distribution facility located near our Crossville, Tennessee snack cake bakery. We believe this centralized distribution system allows us to achieve both production and distribution efficiencies. Products coming from different bakeries are then cross-docked and shipped directly to customers’ warehouses nationwide. Our frozen bread and roll products are shipped to various outside freezer facilities for distribution to our customers.

Intellectual Property

We own a number of trademarks, trade names, patents, and licenses. The company also sells products under franchised and licensed trademarks and trade names which we do not own pursuant to contractual arrangements.  We consider all of our trademarks and trade names important to our business since we use them to build strong brand awareness and consumer loyalty.

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Raw Materials

Our primary baking ingredients are flour, sweeteners, shortening, yeast and water. We also purchase organic and gluten-free ingredients.  We also use paper products, such as corrugated cardboard, films and plastics to package our bakery foods. We strive to maintain diversified sources for all of our baking ingredients and packaging products.  In addition, we are dependent on natural gas or propane as fuel for firing our ovens.

Commodities, such as our baking ingredients, periodically experience price fluctuations. The cost of these inputs may fluctuate widely due to government policy and regulation, weather conditions, domestic and international demand, or other unforeseen circumstances. We enter into forward purchase agreements and other derivative financial instruments in an effort to manage the impact of such volatility in raw material prices, but some organic and specialty ingredients do not offer the same hedging opportunities to reduce the impact of price volatility.  Any decrease in the supply available under these agreements and instruments could increase the effective price of these raw materials to us and significantly impact our earnings.

Regulations

As a producer and marketer of food items, our operations are subject to regulation by various federal governmental agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”).  We also are subject to the regulations of various state agencies, with respect to production processes, product quality, packaging, labeling, storage, distribution, labor, and local regulations regarding the licensing of bakeries and the enforcement of state standards and facility inspections.  Under various statutes and regulations, these federal and state agencies prescribe requirements and establish standards for quality, purity, and labeling.  Failure to comply with one or more regulatory requirements could result in a variety of sanctions, including monetary fines or compulsory withdrawal of products from store shelves.  

Advertising of our businesses is subject to regulation by the Federal Trade Commission, and we are subject to certain health and safety regulations, including those issued under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The cost of compliance with such laws and regulations has not had a material adverse effect on the company’s business.  We believe we are currently in substantial compliance with all material federal, state and local laws and regulations affecting the company and its properties.  

Our operations, like those of similar businesses, are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations with respect to environmental matters, including air and water quality and underground fuel storage tanks, as well as other regulations intended to protect public health and the environment.  The company is not a party to any material proceedings arising under these laws and regulations.  We believe compliance with existing environmental laws and regulations will not materially affect the Consolidated Financial Statements or the competitive position of the company.  The company is currently in substantial compliance with all material environmental laws and regulations affecting the company and its properties.

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Competitive Overview

The U.S. market for fresh and frozen bakery products is estimated at $36 billion at retail. This category is intensely competitive and has experienced significant change in the last several years. From a national standpoint, Flowers Foods is currently the second-largest company in the U.S. fresh baking industry based on market share as presented in the following chart (amounts may not compute due to rounding). (Source: IRI Flowers custom database, 52 weeks ending 12-28-19; Flowers private label sales from SDW):

 

 

The current competitive landscape for breads and rolls in the U.S. baking industry now consists of Bimbo Bakeries USA, Flowers Foods, and Campbell Soup Company, under the Pepperidge Farm brand, along with smaller independent regional bakers, local bakeries, and retailer-owned bakeries.

There are a number of smaller regional bakers in the U.S. Some of these do not enjoy the competitive advantages of larger operations, including greater brand awareness and economies of scale in purchasing, distribution, production, IT, advertising and marketing. However, size alone is not sufficient to ensure success in our industry. The company faces significant competition from regional and independent bakeries in certain geographic areas.

Competition in the baking industry continues to be driven by a number of factors. These include the ability to serve consolidated retail and foodservice customers, generational changes in family-owned businesses, and competitors’ promotional efforts on branded bread and store brands. Competition typically is based on the ability to target changing consumer preferences, product availability, product quality, brand loyalty, price, and effective promotions. Customer service, including frequent deliveries to keep store shelves well-stocked, is also a competitive factor.

The company also faces competition from store brands that are produced either by us or our competitors. Store brands (also known as “private label”) have been offered by food retailers for decades. With the growth of mass merchandisers like Walmart and the ongoing consolidation of regional supermarkets into larger operations, store brands have become a significant competitor to the company in those areas where the company does not have the contract to produce the store brand. In general, the store brand share of retail fresh packaged bread in the U.S. accounts for approximately 23% of the dollar sales and approximately 35% of unit sales and has steadily declined over the past five years.

Other Available Information

Throughout this Form 10-K, we incorporate by reference information from parts of other documents filed with the SEC. The SEC allows us to disclose important information by referring to it in this manner, and you should review this information in addition to the information contained in this report.

 

Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and proxy statement for the annual shareholders’ meeting, as well as any amendments to those reports, are available free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we file them with the SEC. You can learn more about us by reviewing our SEC filings on our website at www.flowersfoods.com in the “REPORTS & FILINGS” section of the “INVESTORS” tab. The SEC also maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy statements and other information about SEC registrants, including the company. Except as otherwise expressly set forth herein, the information contained on our website is neither included nor incorporated by reference herein.

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The following corporate governance documents may be obtained free of charge through our website in the “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE” section of the “INVESTORS” tab (unless otherwise specified) or by sending a written request to Flowers Foods, Inc., 1919 Flowers Circle, Thomasville, GA 31757, Attention: Investor Relations.

 

Finance Committee Charter

 

Audit Committee Charter

 

Nominating/Corporate Governance Committee Charter

 

Compensation Committee Charter

 

Flowers Foods, Inc. Employee Code of Conduct

 

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for Officers and Members of the Board of Directors

 

Disclosure Policy

 

Stock Ownership Guidelines for Executive Officers and Non-Employee Directors

 

Corporate Governance Guidelines

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with all of the other information included in this report, in considering our business and prospects. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing us. These risk factors are not listed in any order of significance.  Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or that we currently deem insignificant, may also impair our business operations. The occurrence of any of the following risks could harm our business, financial condition, liquidity or results of operations.

Economic conditions may negatively impact demand for our products, which could adversely impact our sales and operating profit.

The willingness of our customers and consumers to purchase our products may depend in part on economic conditions. Worsening economic conditions or future challenges to economic growth could have a negative impact on consumer demand, which could adversely affect our business. Deterioration of national and global economic conditions could cause consumers to shift purchases to more generic, lower-priced, or other value offerings, or consumers may forego certain purchases altogether during economic downturns and could result in decreased demand in the foodservice business. This economic uncertainty may increase pressure to reduce the prices of some of our products, limit our ability to increase or maintain prices, and reduce sales of higher margin products or shift our product mix to low-margin products.

In addition, changes in tax or interest rates, whether due to recession, financial and credit market disruptions or other reasons, could negatively impact us. In this regard, the administering regulatory authority announced it intends to phase out London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) by the end of 2021. Certain of our variable rate debt and revolving credit facility use LIBOR as a benchmark for establishing interest rates. While we expect to have replaced or renegotiated our revolving credit facility by the end of 2021, we plan to incur additional indebtedness and/or negotiate new terms that will rely on an alternative method to LIBOR. Any legal or regulatory changes made in response to LIBOR’s future discontinuance may result in, among other things, a sudden or prolonged increase or decrease in LIBOR, a delay in the publication of LIBOR, or changes in the rules or methodologies in LIBOR. In addition, alternative methods to LIBOR may be impossible or impracticable to determine. While we do not expect that the transition from LIBOR and risks related thereto will have a material adverse effect on our financing costs, it is still uncertain at this time. If any of these events occurs, or if economic conditions become unfavorable, our sales and profitability could be adversely affected.

Increases in costs and/or shortages of raw materials, fuels and utilities could adversely impact our profitability.

Raw materials, such as flour, sweeteners, shortening, yeast, and water, which are used in our bakery products, are subject to price fluctuations. The cost of these inputs may fluctuate widely due to foreign and domestic government policies and regulations, weather conditions, domestic and international demand, or other unforeseen circumstances. Any substantial change in the prices or availability of raw materials may have an adverse impact on our profitability. We enter into forward purchase agreements and other derivative financial instruments from time to time to manage the impact of such volatility in raw materials prices; however, these strategies may not be adequate to overcome increases in market prices or availability. Our failure to enter into hedging or fixed price arrangements or any decrease in the availability or increase in the cost of these agreements and instruments could increase the price of these raw materials and significantly affect our earnings.

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In addition, we are dependent upon natural gas or propane for firing ovens. The independent distributors and third-party transportation companies are dependent upon gasoline and diesel for their vehicles. The cost of fuel may fluctuate widely due to economic and political conditions, government policy and regulation, war, or other unforeseen circumstances. Substantial future increases in prices for, or shortages of, these fuels could have a material adverse effect on our profitability, financial condition or results of operations. There can be no assurance that we can cover these potential cost increases through future pricing actions. Also, as a result of these pricing actions, consumers could purchase less or move from purchasing high-margin products to lower-margin products.  

Competition could adversely impact revenues and profitability.

The U.S. bakery industry is highly competitive. Our principal competitors in these categories all have substantial financial, marketing, and other resources. In most product categories, we compete not only with other widely advertised branded products, but also with store branded products that are generally sold at lower prices. Competition is based on product availability, product quality, price, effective promotions, and the ability to target changing consumer preferences. Substantial growth in e-commerce has encouraged the entry of new competitors and business models, intensifying competition by simplifying distribution and lowering barriers to entry. The expanding presence of e-commerce retailers has impacted, and may continue to impact, consumer preferences and market dynamics, which in turn may negatively affect our sales or profits.  We experience price pressure from time to time due to competitors’ promotional activity and other pricing efforts. This pricing pressure is particularly strong during adverse economic periods. Increased competition could result in reduced sales, margins, profits and market share.

A disruption in the operation of our DSD distribution system could negatively affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

A material negative change in our relationship with the independent distributors, litigation or one or more adverse rulings by courts or regulatory or governmental bodies regarding our independent distributorship model, including actions or decisions that could affect the independent contractor classifications of the independent distributors, or an adverse judgment against the company for actions taken by the independent distributors, could materially and negatively affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

The costs of maintaining and enhancing the value and awareness of our brands are increasing, which could have an adverse impact on our revenues and profitability.

We rely on the success of our well-recognized brand names and we intend to maintain our strong brand recognition by continuing to devote resources to advertising, marketing and other brand building efforts. Brand value could diminish significantly due to several factors, including consumer perception that we have acted in an irresponsible manner, adverse publicity about our products (whether or not valid), our failure to maintain the quality of our products, the failure of our products to deliver consistently positive consumer experiences, or the products becoming unavailable to consumers. In addition, failure to comply with local or other laws and regulations could also hurt our reputation. Our marketing investments may not prove successful in maintaining or increasing our market share. If we are not able to successfully maintain our brand recognition or were to suffer damage to our reputation or loss of consumer confidence in our products for any of these reasons, our revenues and profitability could be adversely affected.

We rely on several large customers for a significant portion of sales and the loss of one of our large customers could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We have several large customers that account for a significant portion of sales, and the loss of one of our large customers could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Our top ten customers accounted for 51.0% of sales during fiscal 2019. Our largest customer, Walmart/Sam’s Club, accounted for 21.1% of sales during this period. These customers do not typically enter long-term sales contracts, and instead make purchase decisions based on a combination of price, product quality, consumer demand, and customer service performance. At any time, they may use more of their shelf space, including space currently used for our products, for store branded products or for products from other suppliers. Additionally, our customers may face financial or other difficulties that may impact their operations and their purchases from us. Disputes with significant suppliers could also adversely affect our ability to supply products to our customers. If our sales to one or more of these customers are reduced, this reduction may adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

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Our inability to execute our business strategy could adversely affect our business.

We employ various operating strategies to maintain our position as one of the nation’s leading producers and marketers of bakery products available to customers through multiple channels of distribution.  In particular, we have initiated under Project Centennial, among other things, (i) the integration of acquisitions or the acquisition or disposition of assets at presently targeted values, (ii) the deployment of new systems and technology, and (iii) an enhanced organizational structure.  These and related demands on our resources may divert the organization’s attention from other business issues. Our success is partly dependent upon properly executing, and realizing cost savings or other benefits from, these often-complex initiatives. Any failure to implement our initiatives could adversely affect our ability to grow margins. If we are unsuccessful in implementing or executing Project Centennial or one or more of our business strategies, our business could be adversely affected.

Inability to anticipate or respond to changes in consumer preferences may result in decreased demand for our products, which could have an adverse impact on our future growth and operating results.

Our success depends in part on our ability to respond to current market trends and to anticipate the tastes and dietary habits of consumers, including concerns of consumers regarding health and wellness, obesity, product attributes, ingredients, and packaging. Similarly, demand for our products could be negatively affected by consumer concerns or perceptions regarding the health effects of specific ingredients such as, but not limited to, sodium, trans fats, sugar, processed wheat, or other product ingredients or attributes. Introduction of new products and product extensions requires significant development and marketing investment. If we fail to anticipate, identify, or react to changes in consumer preferences, or if we fail to introduce new and improved products on a timely basis, we could experience reduced demand for our products, which could cause our sales, profitability, and our operating results to suffer.

We may be adversely impacted by the failure to successfully execute acquisitions and divestitures and integrate acquired operations.

From time to time, the company undertakes acquisitions or divestitures. The success of any acquisition or divestiture depends on the company’s ability to identify opportunities that help us meet our strategic objectives, consummate a transaction on favorable contractual terms, and achieve expected returns and other financial benefits.

Acquisitions, including future acquisitions and the Canyon acquisition completed in fiscal 2018, require us to efficiently integrate the acquired business or businesses, which involves a significant degree of difficulty, including the following:

 

integrating the operations and business cultures of the acquired businesses while carrying on the ongoing operations of the businesses we operated prior to the acquisitions;

 

managing a significantly larger company than before consummation of the acquisitions;

 

the possibility of faulty assumptions underlying our expectations regarding the prospects of the acquired businesses;

 

coordinating a greater number of diverse businesses and businesses located in a greater number of geographic locations;

 

attracting and retaining the necessary personnel associated with the acquisitions;

 

creating uniform standards, controls, procedures, policies and information systems and controlling the costs associated with such matters; and

 

expectations about the performance of acquired trademarks and brands and the fair value of such trademarks and brands.

Divestitures have operational risks that may include impairment charges. Divestitures also present unique financial and operational risks, including diverting management attention from the existing core business, separating personnel and financial data and other systems, and adversely affecting existing business relationships with suppliers and customers.

In situations where acquisitions or divestitures are not successfully implemented or completed, or the expected benefits of such acquisitions or divestitures are not otherwise realized, the company’s business or financial results could be negatively impacted.

13


 

We are subject to increasing legal complexity and could be party to litigation that may adversely affect our business.

Increasing legal complexity may continue to affect our operations and results in material ways. We are or could be subject to legal proceedings that may adversely affect our business, including class actions, administrative proceedings, government investigations, securities laws, employment and personal injury claims, disputes with current or former suppliers, claims by current or former distributors, and intellectual property claims (including claims that we infringed another party’s trademarks, copyrights, or patents). Inconsistent standards imposed by governmental authorities can adversely affect our business and increase our exposure to litigation. Litigation involving our independent distributor model and the independent contractor classification of the independent distributors, as well as litigation related to disclosure made by us in connection therewith, if determined adversely, could increase costs, negatively impact our business prospects and the business prospects of our distributors and subject us to incremental liability for their actions. We are also subject to the legal and compliance risks associated with privacy, data collection, protection and management, in particular as it relates to information we collect when we provide products to customers.

Disruption in our supply chain or distribution capabilities from political instability, armed hostilities, incidents of terrorism, natural disasters, weather, inferior product or ingredient supply, or labor strikes could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our ability to make, move and sell products is critical to our success. Damage or disruption to our manufacturing or distribution capabilities, or the manufacturing or distribution capabilities of our suppliers, due to weather, natural disaster, fire or explosion, terrorism, pandemics, inferior product or ingredient supply, labor strikes or work stoppages, or adverse outcomes in litigation involving our independent distributor model, could impair our ability to make, move or sell our products. Moreover, terrorist activity, armed conflict, political instability or natural disasters that may occur within or outside the U.S. may disrupt manufacturing, labor, and other business operations. Failure to take adequate steps to mitigate the likelihood or potential impact of such events and disruption to our manufacturing or distribution capabilities, or to effectively manage such events if they occur, could adversely affect our business, financial conditions and results of operations.

 

 

Product removals, damaged product or safety concerns could adversely impact our results of operations.

 

We may be required to recall certain of our products should they be mislabeled, contaminated, spoiled, tampered with or damaged. We may become involved in lawsuits and legal proceedings alleging that the consumption of any of our products causes or caused injury, illness or death. Any such product removal, damaged product or an adverse result in any litigation related to such a product removal or damaged product could have a material adverse effect on our operating and financial results in future periods, depending on the costs of the product removal from the market, the destruction of product inventory, diversion of management time and attention, contractual and other claims made by customers that we supply, loss of key customers, competitive reaction and consumer attitudes. Even if a product liability, consumer fraud or other claim is unsuccessful or without merit, the negative publicity surrounding such assertions regarding our products could adversely affect our reputation and brand image. We also could be adversely affected if our customers or consumers in our principal markets lose confidence in the safety and quality of our products.

 

During fiscal years 2018 and 2019, we have been required, and may be required in future periods, to remove certain of our products from the market should they be mislabeled, contaminated, spoiled, tampered with or damaged, including as a result of inferior ingredients provided by any of our suppliers.

Consolidation in the retail and foodservice industries could adversely affect our sales and profitability.

We expect consolidations among our retail and foodservice customers to continue. If this trend continues and our retail and foodservice customers continue to grow larger due to consolidation in their respective industries, they may demand lower pricing and increased promotional programs. In addition, these pressures may restrict our ability to increase prices, including in response to commodity and other cost increases. Our margins and profits could decrease if a reduction in prices or increased costs are not counterbalanced with increased sales volume.

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Our large customers may impose requirements on us that may adversely affect our results of operations.

From time to time, our large customers may re-evaluate or refine their business practices and impose new or revised requirements on us, the distributors, and the customers’ other suppliers. The growth of large mass merchandisers, supercenters and dollar stores, together with changes in consumer shopping patterns, have produced large, sophisticated customers with increased buying power and negotiating strength. Current trends among retailers and foodservice customers include fostering high levels of competition among suppliers, demanding new products or increased promotional programs, requiring suppliers to maintain or reduce product prices, reducing shelf space for our products, and requiring product delivery with shorter lead times. These business changes may involve inventory practices, logistics, or other aspects of the customer-supplier relationship. Compliance with requirements imposed by large customers may be costly and may have an adverse effect on our margins and profitability. However, if we fail to meet a large customer’s demands, we could lose that customer’s business, which also could adversely affect our sales and results of operations.

Increases in employee and employee-related costs could have adverse effects on our profitability.

Pension, health care, and workers’ compensation costs are increasing and will likely continue to do so. Any substantial increase in pension, health care or workers’ compensation costs may have an adverse impact on our profitability. The company records pension costs and the liabilities related to its benefit plans based on actuarial valuations, which include key assumptions determined by management. Material changes in pension costs may occur in the future due to changes in these assumptions. Future annual amounts could be impacted by various factors, such as changes in the number of plan participants, changes in the discount rate, changes in the expected long-term rate of return, changes in the level of contributions to the plan, and other factors. In addition, legislation or regulations involving labor and employment and employee benefit plans (including employee health care benefits and costs) may impact our operational results.

We have risks related to our pension plans, which could impact the company’s liquidity.

The company has noncontributory defined benefit pension plans covering certain employees maintained under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). The funding obligations for our pension plans are impacted by the performance of the financial markets. During fiscal 2018, the company adopted a de-risking investment strategy for its pension assets in Plan No. 1 and the termination of Plan No. 1 is expected to occur by May 2020.  The termination of Plan No. 1 has resulted in a short-term conservative investment outlook, while Plan No. 2 is still managed as a long-term asset.  

As a result of the termination, we will be required to make significant cash contributions to fund Plan No. 1’s unfunded vested benefit, which could adversely affect our financial condition, liquidity or results of operations, the amount of which will depend on the lump sum offer participation rate of eligible participants.  Based on the estimated value of assets held in the plan, the company currently estimates that a cash contribution of approximately $17.0 million to $35.0 million will be required to fully fund the plan’s liabilities at termination.  In addition, based on current assumptions of the level of lump sum distributions elected by eligible plan participants, among other assumptions, the company estimates a final non-cash settlement charge of approximately $125.0 million to $143.0 million will be triggered in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

If the financial markets do not provide the long-term returns that are expected, the likelihood of the company being required to make larger contributions will increase, which could impact our liquidity. The equity markets can be, and recently have been, very volatile, and therefore our estimate of future contribution requirements can change dramatically in relatively short periods of time. Similarly, changes in interest rates can impact our contribution requirements. In a low interest rate environment, the likelihood of larger required contributions increases. Adverse developments in any of these areas could adversely affect our financial condition, liquidity or results of operations.  

We may be adversely impacted if our IT systems fail to perform adequately, including with respect to cybersecurity issues.

The efficient operation of our business depends on our IT systems. We rely on our IT systems to effectively manage our business data, communications, supply chain, order entry and fulfillment, and other business processes. The failure of our IT systems (including those provided to us by third parties) to perform as we anticipate could disrupt our business and could result in billing, collecting and ordering errors, processing inefficiencies, and the loss of sales and customers, causing our business and results of operations to suffer.

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In addition, our IT systems may be vulnerable to damage or interruption from circumstances beyond our control, including fire, natural disasters, systems failures, security breaches or intrusions (including theft of customer, consumer or other confidential data), and viruses. If we are unable to prevent physical and electronic break-ins, cyber-attacks and other information security breaches, we may suffer financial and reputational damage, be subject to litigation or incur remediation costs or penalties because of the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information belonging to us or to our partners, customers, suppliers or employees.

Climate change, or legal, regulatory, or market measures to address climate change, may negatively affect our business and operations.

There is growing concern that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have an adverse impact on global temperatures, weather patterns, and the frequency and severity of extreme weather and natural disasters. In the event that such climate change has a negative effect on agricultural productivity, we may be subject to decreased availability or less favorable pricing for certain commodities that are necessary for our products, such as corn and wheat. Adverse weather conditions and natural disasters can reduce crop size and crop quality, which in turn could reduce our supplies of raw materials, lower recoveries of usable raw materials, increase the prices of our raw materials, increase our cost of transporting and storing raw materials, or disrupt our production schedules.

We may also be subjected to decreased availability or less favorable pricing for water as a result of such change, which could impact our production and distribution operations. In addition, natural disasters and extreme weather conditions may disrupt the productivity of our facilities or the operation of our supply chain. The increasing concern over climate change also may result in more regional, federal, and/or global legal and regulatory requirements to reduce or mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases. In the event that such regulation is enacted and is more aggressive than the sustainability measures that we are currently undertaking to monitor our emissions and improve our energy efficiency, we may experience significant increases in our costs of operation and delivery. In particular, increasing regulation of fuel emissions could substantially increase the distribution and supply chain costs associated with our products. As a result, climate change could negatively affect our business and operations.

Government regulation could adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.

As a producer and marketer of food items, our production processes, product quality, packaging, labeling, storage, and distribution are subject to regulation by various federal, state and local government entities and agencies. In addition, the marketing and labeling of food products has come under increased scrutiny in recent years, and the food industry has been subject to an increasing number of legal proceedings and claims relating to alleged false or deceptive marketing and labeling under federal, state or local laws or regulations. Uncertainty regarding labeling standards has led to customer confusions and legal challenges.

In addition, our operations are subject to extensive and increasingly stringent regulations administered by the Environmental Protection Agency related to the discharge of materials into the environment and the handling and disposition of wastes. Failure to comply with these regulations can have serious consequences, including civil and administrative penalties and negative publicity. Changes in applicable laws or regulations or evolving interpretations thereof, including increased government regulations to limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions as a result of concern over climate change, may result in increased compliance costs, capital expenditures, and other financial obligations for us, which could affect our profitability or impede the production or distribution of our products, and affect our sales.

Compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations is costly and time consuming. Failure to comply with, or violations of, applicable laws and the regulatory requirements of one or more of these entities and agencies could subject us to civil remedies, including fines, injunctions, recalls or seizures, as well as potential criminal sanctions, any of which could result in increased operating costs and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Legal proceedings or claims related to our marketing could damage our reputation and/or adversely affect our business or financial results.  

Executive Offices

The address and telephone number of our principal executive offices are 1919 Flowers Circle, Thomasville, Georgia 31757, (229) 226-9110.

Information about our Executive Officers

The following table sets forth certain information regarding the persons who currently serve as the executive officers of Flowers Foods.

16


 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

Name, Age and Office

 

Business Experience

 

 

 

A.Ryals McMullian

Age 50

President and

Chief Executive Officer

 

Mr. McMullian was elected CEO in May 2019.  Previously, Mr. McMullian served as COO from July 2018 until May 2019.  Mr. McMullian served as chief strategy officer from May 2017 to July 2018. Mr. McMullian served as vice president of mergers and acquisitions and deputy general counsel from 2015 until 2017. Mr. McMullian served as vice president and associate general counsel from 2011 until 2015 and as associate general counsel from 2003, when he joined the company, until 2011.

 

 

 

R. Steve Kinsey

Age 59

Chief Financial Officer and Chief
Administrative Officer

 

Mr. Kinsey was named chief financial officer (“CFO”) and chief administrative officer in May 2017. Previously, Mr. Kinsey served as executive vice president and CFO from 2008 until 2017, and as senior vice president and CFO from 2007 to 2008. Prior to those appointments, Mr. Kinsey served as vice president and corporate controller from 2003 until 2007, and as controller from 2002 until 2003. He served as director of tax from 1998 until 2002 at Flowers Foods and Flowers Industries. At Flowers Industries, Mr. Kinsey also served as tax manager from 1994 until 1998, and as tax associate from 1989 until 1994. He joined the company in 1989.  Mr. Kinsey will also become the chief accounting officer (“CAO”) upon the retirement of Ms. Lauder in late April 2020.

 

 

 

Bradley K. Alexander

Age 61

Chief Operating Officer

 

Mr. Alexander was named COO in May 2019.  Previously, Mr. Alexander served as president of the Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit from May 2017 to May 2019. Mr. Alexander served previously as executive vice president and COO of Flowers Foods beginning in 2014 and as president of Flowers Bakeries from 2008 to 2014. He also served as a regional vice president of Flowers Bakeries, and in various sales, marketing and operational positions, including bakery president and senior vice president of sales and marketing, since joining the company in 1981.

 

 

 

Stephanie B. Tillman

Age 49

Chief Legal Counsel

 

Ms. Tillman was named chief legal counsel effective January 2020. Ms. Tillman has served as vice president, chief compliance officer, and deputy general counsel, since 2011. Previously, Ms. Tillman served in various roles in the legal department since joining the company in 1995.

 

 

 

D. Keith Wheeler

Age 56

Chief Sales Officer

 

Mr. Wheeler was named chief sales officer in May 2017. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Wheeler served as president of Flowers Bakeries from 2014 until 2017. Mr. Wheeler was senior vice president of Flowers Foods’ West Coast Region from 2012 until 2014, and before that, he served in various leadership and operational positions, including bakery president and region controller. He joined the company in 1988.

 

 

 

Robert L. Benton, Jr.

Age 62

Executive Vice President of Network Optimization

 

Mr. Benton was named Executive Vice President of Network Optimization in November 2019. He previously served as chief supply chain officer since May 2017.  He had been senior vice president and chief manufacturing officer from 2015 to 2017. Mr. Benton served as senior vice president of manufacturing and operations support from 2011 until 2015, as vice president of manufacturing from 2001 until 2011, and as director of manufacturing at Flowers Foods and Flowers Industries from 1993 until 2001. At Flowers Industries, Mr. Benton held various manufacturing, engineering and operational management positions, from when he joined the company in 1980 through 1993.

 

 

 

Karyl H. Lauder

Age 63

Senior Vice President and

Chief Accounting Officer

 

Ms. Lauder has been senior vice president and CAO of Flowers Foods since 2008. Ms. Lauder served as vice president and CAO from 2007 until 2008 and as vice president and operations controller from 2003 to 2007. Prior to those appointments, Ms. Lauder served as a division controller for Flowers Bakeries Group from 1997 to 2003, as a regional controller for Flowers Bakeries, and in several other accounting and supervisory positions since 1978, when she joined the company.  Ms. Lauder has announced her retirement effective at the end of April 2020.

 

 

 

Debo Mukherjee

Age 52

Chief Marketing Officer

 

Mr. Mukherjee joined Flowers as the chief marketing officer in October 2017. Mr. Mukherjee has 25 years of experience in confection, food, health, and nutrition consumer businesses, most recently as founder and owner of Intacta Consulting Group, LLC. Prior to launching Intacta, Mr. Mukherjee served as CEO of Redco Foods, Inc., a subsidiary of Teekanne GmbH, the largest herbal and flavored tea company in Europe, from 2011 to 2015. He also held marketing roles at Mars Inc., Unilever, H.J. Heinz Co. and The Hershey Company.

17


 

Name, Age and Office

 

Business Experience

 

 

 

H. Mark Courtney

Age 59

President, Fresh Packaged

Bread Business Unit

 

Mr. Courtney was named president of the Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit in May 2019.  Previously, Mr. Courtney has held various positions with the Company, including senior vice president of retail accounts from 2017 to 2019 and senior vice president of sales from 2008 to 2017.  He also served as executive vice president of the Flowers Foods Specialty Group, and in various sales positions since joining the company in 1983.

 

 

 

David M. Roach

Age 50

President, Snacking/Specialty

Business Unit

 

Mr. Roach was named president of the Snacking/Specialty Business Unit in May 2017. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Roach served as senior vice president of organics from 2015 until 2017, and as senior vice president of the Central Region from 2010 until 2015. Mr. Roach was president of Flowers Baking Co. of Villa Rica from 2007 to 2010 and served in various sales and supervisory positions since joining the company in 1992.

 

 

 

Mark Chaffin

Age 49

Chief Information Officer

 

Mr. Chaffin was named chief information officer (“CIO”) in February 2020 after serving four months in an interim capacity. In this role, he is responsible for Flowers’ IT strategy and operations. Prior to joining Flowers, Mr. Chaffin was a partner in the Southeast practice of Fortium Partners, a provider of technology leadership services, focusing on IT strategy, business process improvement, technology commercialization, and analytics. He also served as CIO at sgsco, a global package and brand design and marketing company, from 2015 to 2019. He also served as CIO at Acosta Sales and Marketing, a sales and marketing company for consumer-packaged goods companies, from 2007 to 2015. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chaffin founded Florida Technology, a firm focused on business intelligence and application development, and launched the national business intelligence practice for Avanade, a global professional services company founded as a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft.

 

 

 

Tonja Taylor

Age 60

Chief Human Resources Officer

 

Ms. Taylor was named chief human resources officer in May 2017. Ms. Taylor served as senior vice president of human resources from 2013 until 2017 and as vice president of human resources from 2008 until 2013. Ms. Taylor joined the company in 1999 as change management coordinator for a key IT initiative. Beginning in 2000, she served in a variety of human resources positions, including manager of organizational development, director of organizational development, and managing director of Human Resources.

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments.

None

18


 

Item 2.

Properties

The company currently operates 46 bakeries, of which 44 are owned and two are leased. We believe our properties are in good condition, well maintained, and sufficient for our present operations. Our production plant locations are:

 

State

 

City

 

State

 

City

Alabama

 

Birmingham

 

Kentucky

 

London

Alabama

 

Montgomery

 

Louisiana

 

Baton Rouge

Alabama

 

Tuscaloosa

 

Louisiana

 

Lafayette

Arizona

 

Mesa

 

Louisiana

 

New Orleans

Arizona

 

Phoenix

 

Maine

 

Lewiston (2 locations)

Arizona

 

Tolleson

 

Nevada

 

Henderson

Arkansas

 

Batesville

 

North Carolina

 

Goldsboro

Arkansas

 

Texarkana

 

North Carolina

 

Jamestown

California

 

Modesto (Leased)

 

North Carolina

 

Newton

Colorado

 

Johnstown

 

Oregon

 

Milwaukie

Florida

 

Bradenton

 

Pennsylvania

 

Oxford

Florida

 

Jacksonville

 

Pennsylvania

 

Philadelphia (Leased)

Florida

 

Lakeland

 

Tennessee

 

Cleveland

Florida

 

Miami

 

Tennessee

 

Crossville

Georgia

 

Atlanta

 

Tennessee

 

Knoxville

Georgia

 

Savannah

 

Texas

 

Denton

Georgia

 

Suwanee

 

Texas

 

El Paso

Georgia

 

Thomasville

 

Texas

 

Houston (2 locations)

Georgia

 

Tucker

 

Texas

 

San Antonio

Georgia

 

Villa Rica

 

Texas

 

Tyler

Kansas

 

Lenexa

 

Virginia

 

Lynchburg

Kentucky

 

Bardstown

 

Virginia

 

Norfolk

 

In Thomasville, Georgia, the company leases properties that house shared services functions and our IT group and owns several properties for our corporate offices.

Item 3.

For a description of all material pending legal proceedings, See Note 24, Commitments and Contingencies, of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Form 10-K.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not Applicable

19


 

PART II

Item 5.

Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Shares of the company’s common stock are quoted on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) under the symbol “FLO.” 

Holders

As of February 13, 2020, there were approximately 3,435 holders of record of the company’s common stock.

Dividends

The payment of dividends is subject to the discretion of the Board. The Board bases its decisions regarding dividends on, among other things, general business conditions, our financial results, contractual, legal and regulatory restrictions regarding dividend payments and any other factors the Board may consider relevant.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The following chart sets forth the amounts of securities authorized for issuance under the company’s compensation plans as of December 28, 2019.

 

 

 

Number of Securities to

be Issued Upon

Exercise of Outstanding

Options, Warrants and

Rights

 

 

Weighted Average

Exercise Price of

Outstanding Options,

Warrants and Rights

 

 

Number of Securities Remaining

Available for Future Issuance Under

Equity Compensation Plans

(Excluding Securities Reflected in

Column(a))

 

Plan Category

 

(a)

 

 

(b)

 

 

(c)

 

Equity compensation plans approved by

   security holders

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

5,080,672

 

Equity compensation plans not approved by

   security holders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

 

5,080,672

 

 

Under the company’s 2014 Omnibus Equity and Incentive Compensation Plan (the “Omnibus Plan”), the Board is authorized to grant a variety of stock-based awards, including stock options, restricted stock and deferred stock, to its directors and certain of its employees. The number of securities set forth in column (c) above reflects securities available for issuance as stock options, restricted stock and deferred stock under the company’s compensation plans. The number of shares originally available under the Omnibus Plan is 8,000,000 shares. The Omnibus Plan replaced the Flowers Foods’ 2001 Equity and Performance Incentive Plan, as amended and restated as of April 1, 2009 (“EPIP”), the Stock Appreciation Rights Plan, and the Annual Executive Bonus Plan. As a result, no additional shares will be issued under the EPIP. See Note 19, Stock-Based Compensation, of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Form 10-K for additional information on equity compensation plans.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer

The company did not purchase any shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

20


 

Stock Performance Graph

The chart below is a comparison of the cumulative total return (assuming the reinvestment of all dividends paid) of our common stock, Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, Standard & Poor’s 500 Packaged Foods and Meats Index, and Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400 Index for the period January 3, 2015 through December 28, 2019, the last day of our 2019 fiscal year.

 

 

 

 

 

January 3,

2015

 

 

January 2,

2016

 

 

December 31,

2016

 

 

December 30,

2017

 

 

December 29,

2018

 

 

December 28,

2019

 

FLOWERS FOODS INC

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

115.17

 

 

 

111.18

 

 

 

111.43

 

 

 

109.32

 

 

 

134.46

 

S&P 500 INDEX

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

101.40

 

 

 

113.53

 

 

 

138.32

 

 

 

131.12

 

 

 

174.36

 

S&P 500 PACKAGED FOODS &

   MEAT INDEX

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

117.37

 

 

 

128.09

 

 

 

129.82

 

 

 

105.21

 

 

 

137.73

 

S&P MIDCAP 400 INDEX

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

97.90

 

 

 

118.20

 

 

 

137.40

 

 

 

120.93

 

 

 

154.09

 

 

Companies in the S&P 500 Index, the S&P 500 Packaged Foods and Meats Index, and the S&P MidCap 400 Index are weighted by market capitalization and indexed to $100 at January 3, 2015. Flowers Foods’ share price is also indexed to $100 at December 28, 2019.

21


 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

The selected consolidated historical financial data presented below as of and for the fiscal years 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015 have been derived from the audited Consolidated Financial Statements of the company. The results of operations presented below are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for any future period and should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Form 10-K (amounts in thousands, except per share data).

 

 

 

For Fiscal Year

 

 

 

Fiscal 2019

 

 

Fiscal 2018

 

 

Fiscal 2017

 

 

Fiscal 2016

 

 

Fiscal 2015

 

 

 

52 Weeks

 

 

52 Weeks

 

 

52 Weeks

 

 

52 Weeks

 

 

52 Weeks

 

Statement of Income Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

$

4,123,974

 

 

$

3,951,852

 

 

$

3,920,733

 

 

$

3,926,885

 

 

$

3,778,505

 

Net income

 

$

164,538

 

 

$

157,160

 

 

$

150,120

 

 

$

163,776

 

 

$

189,191

 

Net income attributable to Flowers Foods, Inc. common

   shareholders per basic share

 

$

0.78

 

 

$

0.74

 

 

$

0.72

 

 

$

0.79

 

 

$

0.90

 

Net income attributable to Flowers Foods, Inc. common

   shareholders per diluted share

 

$

0.78

 

 

$

0.74

 

 

$

0.71

 

 

$

0.78

 

 

$

0.89

 

Cash dividends per common share

 

$

0.7500

 

 

$

0.7100

 

 

$

0.6700

 

 

$

0.6250

 

 

$

0.5675

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

3,177,776

 

 

$

2,845,537

 

 

$

2,659,724

 

 

$

2,761,068

 

 

$

2,844,051

 

Long-term debt and right-of-use lease liabilities

 

$

1,206,299

 

 

$

990,640

 

 

$

820,141

 

 

$

946,667

 

 

$

930,022

 

 

Notes to the Selected Financial Data table for additional context

1.

Fiscal 2019 includes the impact of the following items which affect comparability (amounts in thousands):

 

Items presented separately on the Consolidated

Statements of Income

 

First

Quarter

 

 

Second

Quarter

 

 

Third

Quarter

 

 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

Fiscal 2019

 

 

Footnote

(Recovery) loss on inferior ingredients

 

$

(413

)

 

$

 

 

$

 

 

$

376

 

 

$

(37

)

 

Note 4

Restructuring and related impairment charges

 

$

718

 

 

$

2,047

 

 

$

3,277

 

 

$

17,482

 

 

$

23,524

 

 

Note 5

 

The company adopted Accounting Standard Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-02 Leases (ASC Topic 842, the “new standard”) that requires companies to recognize lease liabilities and a right-of-use asset for virtually all leases on the balance sheet.  The company adopted this standard at the beginning of our fiscal 2019 using the modified retrospective transition method.  The impact at adoption was an increase to assets of $387.3 million and an increase to liabilities of $391.9 million.  See Note 3, Recent Accounting Pronouncements, of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Form 10-K, for details of the impact at adoption.

 

2.

Fiscal 2019 also includes legal settlement charges of $28.0 million recognized in the selling, distribution and administrative expenses line item on the Consolidated Statements of Income during fiscal 2019.

 

3.

Fiscal 2018 includes the impact of the following items which affect comparability (amounts in thousands):

 

Items presented separately on the Consolidated

Statements of Income

 

First

Quarter

 

 

Second

Quarter

 

 

Third

Quarter

 

 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

Fiscal 2018

 

 

Footnote

(Recovery) loss on inferior ingredients

 

$

 

 

$

3,884

 

 

$

(1,891

)

 

$

1,219

 

 

$

3,212

 

 

Note 4

Restructuring and related impairment charges