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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 January 1, 2022

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 has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

 

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

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing price of the shares of common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on July 17, 2021, was $4,982,859,803.

The number of shares of the registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of February 17, 2022 was 211,536,622.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held May 26, 2022, which is expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on or about April 12, 2022, have been incorporated by reference into Part III, Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Auditor Firm Id:

238

Auditor Name:

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Auditor Location:

Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

 

 


 

 

FORM 10-K REPORT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

 

PART I

 

Item 1.

Business

4

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

13

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

21

Item 2.

Properties

21

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

21

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

21

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

Item 5.

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

22

Item 6.

[Reserved]

23

Item 7.

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

24

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

42

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

42

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

42

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

42

Item 9B.

Other Information

43

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

44

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

44

Item 12.

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

44

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

45

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

45

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

46

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

50

 

Signatures

51

 

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 the ultimate impact of the novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) on our business, results of operations and financial condition 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; (vi) laws and regulations (including environmental and health-related issues); and (vii) accounting standards or tax rates in the markets in which we operate;

 

the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and future responses and/or measures taken in response thereto, including, but not limited to, new and emerging variants of the virus and the efficacy and distribution of vaccines, which are highly uncertain and are difficult to predict;

 

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, and the movement toward more inexpensive store branded products;

 

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 implement and achieve our environmental, social, and governance goals in accordance with suppliers, regulations, and customers;

 

our ability to execute our business strategies 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 (including decreased volumes), and the pricing environment among competitors within the industry;

 

our ability to adjust pricing to offset, or partially offset, inflationary pressure on the cost of our products;

 

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 distributor partners;

 

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

 

labor shortages and turnover or increases in employee and employee-related costs;

 

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

 

any business disruptions due to political instability, pandemics, armed hostilities, incidents of terrorism, natural disasters, labor strikes or work stoppages, technological breakdowns, product contamination, product recalls or safety concerns

2


 

 

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 or risks associated with the planned implementation of the upgrade of our enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) system; and

 

the potential impact of climate change on the company, including physical and transition risks, higher regulatory and compliance costs, reputational risks, and availability of capital on attractive terms.

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”), founded in 1919 as a Georgia corporation and headquartered in Thomasville, Georgia, is currently the second-largest producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the United States (“U.S.”).  Our principal products include breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes, and tortillas and are sold under a variety of brand names, including Nature’s Own, Dave’s Killer Bread (“DKB”), Wonder, Canyon Bakehouse, Tastykake, and Mrs. Freshley’s.  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.

Flowers’ strategic priorities include developing our team, focusing on our brands, prioritizing our margins, and proactively seeking out smart, disciplined acquisitions and are described further in the following section.  We believe executing on our strategic priorities will drive future growth and margin expansion and deliver meaningful shareholder value over time.  

COVID-19

We continue to monitor the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business operations, results of operations, and liquidity. Our operations may continue to experience disruption due to the continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic, including but not limited to additional variants of the COVID-19 virus, new geographic hotspots, changes in the number of COVID-19 cases, the rate of vaccination within the U.S. population and the efficacy of the vaccines, changes in the global and U.S. economic environment, and changes in pandemic safety policies.  

In recognition and support of our frontline workers, we paid a total of $5.2 million and $12.3 million in appreciation bonuses to eligible hourly and non-exempt employees, leased labor, and contract workers in Fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively.  These appreciation bonuses are in addition to the company’s annual performance-based cash incentive plan, in which all Flowers employees participate.  

Our Fiscal 2021 sales declined compared to Fiscal 2020 primarily due to the additional week in the prior year.  Fiscal 2020 benefitted from the significant rise in demand for our branded retail products at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as positive shifts in mix throughout the year and the additional week. Comparatively, Fiscal 2021 benefitted from favorable pricing, a continued positive shift in mix from store branded retail to branded retail products, and a partial recovery in non-retail sales. As steps to mitigate the pandemic have waned, including the easing of mandatory shutdowns and restaurant closures, our non-retail sales have been recovering.  Compared to our historical pre-pandemic sales, our Fiscal 2021 sales were elevated as we continued to benefit from the positive mix shift to branded retail products and favorable pricing, partially offset by volume declines.  The unpredictability of the pandemic makes forecasting this recovery in non-retail sales difficult, but such a recovery or a significant shift in mix from branded retail to store branded retail products could negatively impact our results of operations, including our net sales, earnings, and cash flows.  For additional discussion on the impact of the pandemic on our results of operations, refer to Part II, Item 7., Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, of this Form 10-K.

We believe we have sufficient liquidity to satisfy our cash needs and we continue to take steps to preserve adequate liquidity during the ongoing pandemic as further discussed in Part II, Item 7., Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, of this Form 10-K.  As discussed further in the “Transformation Strategy Initiatives” section below, we are continuing to move forward with the ERP system upgrade and our digital strategy initiatives and do not anticipate the pandemic to materially alter the timing of these initiatives.

Our main focus throughout the pandemic has been and continues to be the health and safety of our team members and independent distributor partners. From the start of the pandemic, we have followed the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking a number of recommended steps to safeguard those in our facilities. These steps included, but are not limited to, monitoring the symptoms of everyone entering our facilities, requiring face coverings, maintaining (where possible) social distancing of six feet, conducting enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and frequently touched surfaces, performing decontamination of work areas and equipment when there is a confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19 at a facility, and contact tracing. Company-wide bans on non-essential travel and non-essential visitors at all locations were put into place, corporate offices were closed, and office staff were directed to work remotely. In addition, the company issued regular communications about COVID-19 prevention steps. When COVID-19 vaccinations became available, we shared educational information with our team members and encouraged vaccination for those eligible.  

4


 

We have followed the guidance issued by the CDC and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and modified our face mask and wellness screening policies to align with local, state, and workplace safety regulations. We remain vigilant in reporting COVID-19 cases in our facilities and continue to evaluate our pandemic safety measures as the pandemic evolves. The majority of employees in non-production roles continue to work remotely. We intend to implement a work policy in 2022 addressing guidelines for three distinct work personas: full-time remote, full-time in office, or flex, a combination of the two. These plans may be impacted by, among other things, consideration of pandemic safety measures, the rate of vaccinations and the efficacy of the vaccines, the threat of additional COVID-19 variants, and the ability of office staff to work effectively from remote locations. Although the impact of these measures, or any other measures adopted by governmental authorities, on our business and workforce is uncertain, these requirements may result in increased costs and could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

While we have had no temporary production interruptions in Fiscal 2021 due to COVID-19, such interruptions are possible in the future due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. The potential closure of several of our bakeries across the country at the same time – or in close succession – could negatively affect our ability to meet our production requirements, even if the interruption is temporary. Additionally, unforeseen disruptions in other areas of our operations, including but not limited to procurement of raw materials, transport of our products, or recovery by our foodservice customers, could negatively impact our operations, results of operations, cash flows, and liquidity.

During Fiscal 2021, we have experienced labor shortages at some of our bakeries. A number of factors may continue to adversely affect the labor force available to us, including high employment and government regulations. Other factors that may negatively affect our ability to efficiently operate our production lines or run at full capacity might include, but are not limited to, a labor shortage or increased turnover rates within our workforce that could lead to increased labor costs, including additional overtime to meet demand and higher wage rates to attract and retain workers. An overall labor shortage, lack of skilled labor, increased turnover or labor inflation could have a material adverse impact on the company’s operations, results of operations, liquidity, or cash flows.

Strategic Initiatives

We are a brand-focused company dedicated to the consumer and committed to growing our most profitable brands through innovation, market expansion, and prudent mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”).  Our strategic priorities and our long-term goals are as follows:

Strategic Priorities:

 

Develop team: Capabilities to build brands and create value.

 

Focus on brands: Enhance relevancy and expand presence. Invest in our brands to align with consumers to maximize our return on investment.  

 

Prioritize margins: Optimize the portfolio and supply chain.

 

Smart M&A: Disciplined approach to acquisitions in the grain-based foods arena that enhance our branded portfolio and margin profile.

Long-term Goals:

 

Grow sales by 1% to 2% annually (excluding any future acquisitions).

 

Grow EBITDA by 4% to 6% annually (excluding any future acquisitions) (The company defines EBITDA as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.).

 

Grow earnings per share by 7% to 9% annually.

The key to our success in achieving our goals is our talented and dedicated team.  We recognize the importance of investing in our people as further discussed in the “Human Capital Resources” section below, which details how we attract, retain, and develop our team.  Additionally, we recognize the importance of realigning people and responsibilities in successfully implementing our long-term strategies.  This realignment can take the form of organizational changes or providing crucial tools, including investments in our information systems.  During Fiscal 2020, we implemented organizational changes to better align the team to our new strategies, hired new team members with unique expertise and insight, and created the transformation office.  The transformation office is a cross-functional team responsible for over-overseeing the implementation of our strategic priorities, including our digital and ERP initiatives, which are discussed in more detail under the “Transformation Strategy Initiatives” section below.  

5


 

A major focus of our long-term strategy is to evolve our sales portfolio to higher margin, value-added branded retail products that we expect will generate top line growth and improve overall profitability. We expect an optimized portfolio will drive share gains by targeting growth segments with new, innovative products.  We have established clear roles for the brands and product lines within our portfolio to enable more targeted decision-making on brand investment.  Over the past several years, we have completed brand rationalization initiatives resulting in a more streamlined brand and product assortment, reduced brand portfolio complexity, and increased efficiency.  In Fiscal 2020, our sales mix shifted to more profitable branded retail products due to increases in at-home dining resulting from COVID-19, which led to increased sales and operating income, further illustrating the potential of an optimized portfolio.  In Fiscal 2021, we have continued to benefit from this positive shift in sales mix.

As we implement our targeted sales portfolio strategy, the flexibility of our production and distribution systems allows us to pivot capacity to meet this changing demand.  As an example, in Fiscal 2020, we repurposed bakery assets at our Lynchburg, Virginia facility, converting it to an all-organic bakery to meet rising demand for our DKB products and to better serve east coast markets with fresher product and reduce distribution costs.  Also, we believe our flexible bakery system has been crucial in navigating demand changes caused by the pandemic as we have been able to quickly shift production to high demand products and adjust distribution where needed. We are continuing to optimize our distribution system by reducing network complexity through depot consolidation and reducing transport miles.

M&A has always been, and we expect will continue to be, an important part of our long-term growth strategy.  We employ a disciplined approach to M&A, seeking out candidates primarily in the grain-based foods arena that will enhance our branded portfolio, extend our geographic presence, are a strong cultural fit, and add enhanced capabilities to our company.  We believe our strong balance sheet and cash flow generation will enable us to execute our M&A strategy.  

Transformation Strategy Initiatives

In the second half of Fiscal 2020, we launched initiatives to transform how we operate our business.  The primary goals of these new initiatives are: (1) enable a more agile business model, empowering the organization by fundamentally redesigning core business processes and our ways of working; (2) embed digital capabilities and transform the way we engage with our consumers, customers and employees; and (3) modernize and simplify our application and technology infrastructure landscape, inclusive of the upgrade of our ERP system.  We completed the initial planning and road mapping phase of these multi-year transformation initiatives at the end of Fiscal 2020 and transitioned into the design phase in early Fiscal 2021.  

Digital Strategy Initiatives

Our digital strategy initiatives include investments in digital domains of e-commerce, autonomous planning, and bakery of the future.  In e-commerce, we strive to become a category and market share leader, engage with the consumer through digital platforms and marketplaces, and support our retail partners’ omnichannel strategies.  The autonomous planning domain encompasses predictive ordering, cost-to-serve modeling, integrated business planning, and supply and demand forecasting, among other areas.  Bakery of the future involves transforming our current manufacturing processes and operational visibility to apply industry-leading digital manufacturing tools, such as real-time performance management and visibility, automation of repetitive processes, standardization of processes and procedures, and sensor-based quality monitoring tools to improve consistency and quality.  

Combined, these digital domains are expected to improve data visibility and efficiencies while automating many of our processes.  When fully implemented, we expect this work will further our brand efforts, bring us ever closer to the consumer, increase operational efficiencies, and deliver higher-quality, real-time insights, which will in turn enable more predictive business decision-making. We transitioned into the implementation phase for the e-commerce, autonomous planning, and bakery of the future domains and selected two bakeries for the pilot program for bakery of the future and autonomous planning in Fiscal 2021.  

ERP Upgrade

This initiative includes upgrading our information system to a more robust platform and is expected to improve data management and efficiencies while automating many of our processes.  During the first quarter of Fiscal 2021, we engaged a leading, global consulting firm to assist us in planning and implementing the upgrade of our ERP platform and serve as the system integrator for the project.  We transitioned into the build phase of the project in the beginning of Fiscal 2022.

We expect this initiative will require significant capital investment and expense over the next several years.  See Item 1A., Risk Factors, “We may experience difficulties in designing and implementing the upgrade of our ERP system.”

6


 

Segment

Since the beginning of Fiscal 2019, we have managed our business as one operating segment.  The company concluded it has one operating segment based on the nature of the 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.  Beginning with the first quarter of Fiscal 2019, the comparative periods have been 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 detailed financial information about our operating segment.

Brands & Products

We report our 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 chart below presents our Fiscal 2021 sales by sales category (source:  internal sales data warehouse (“SDW”); amounts may not compute due to rounding).

 

 

 

Our brands are some of the best-known in the U.S. fresh packaged bread industry and many of them hold leading market positions in the categories in which they compete.  We believe having a well-diversified portfolio of brands allows us to be more competitive in the marketplace and appeal to a broader range of consumers. Our principal products are breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes, and tortillas.  The table below presents the major brands within our diversified brand portfolio:

 

Strategic Positioning

 

Key Brands

Mainstream

 

Nature's Own, Wonder, Tastykake

Organic

 

Dave's Killer Bread

Gluten Free

 

Canyon Bakehouse

 

Brand Highlights

 

Nature’s Own is the best-selling loaf bread in the U.S.  Nature’s Own’s sales, at retail, were $1.3 billion for Fiscal 2021.

 

Nature’s Own Honey Wheat is the #1 Universal Product Code (“UPC”) in the U.S. Fresh Packaged Bread category based on dollars and units.  Nature’s Own Butterbread is the #2 UPC in the loaf category based on dollars and units. (Source: IRI Total US MultiOutlet+C-Store L52 Weeks Ending 12/26/21)

 

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). (Source: IRI Total US MultiOutlet+C-Store L52 Weeks Ending 12/26/21) DKB’s sales, at retail, were $875 million for Fiscal 2021.

 

Canyon Bakehouse, acquired at the end of Fiscal 2018, is the #1 selling gluten-free bread brand in the U.S. (Source: IRI Total US MultiOutlet+C-Store L52 Weeks Ending 12/26/21) Canyon Bakehouse’s sales, at retail, were $137 million for Fiscal 2021.

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Wonder, over 100 years old, enjoys 98% brand awareness (Source: Kantar Brand Health Tracking Study - Q4 2020). Wonder’s Classic White loaf is the #2 UPC in the white loaf segment based on dollars and units in the U.SWonder’s sales, at retail, were $438 million for Fiscal 2021 (Source: IRI Total US MultiOutlet+C-Store L52 Weeks Ending 12/26/21)

 

 

Our brands and products are sold through various channels throughout the U.S.  The table below presents our sales by channel for Fiscal 2021 (source:  internal SDW; amounts may not compute due to rounding).

 

 

* All Other includes thrift store, vending, and retail distributor sales.

Marketing

We support our key brands with an advertising and marketing effort that targets 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.  Additionally, we have made and are continuing to make marketing investments to target e-commerce sales as consumers shift to more online shopping alternatives, such as grocery delivery sites, retailer websites and apps, among others.  

Customers

Our top 10 customers in Fiscal 2021 accounted for 53.7% of sales. During Fiscal 2021, our largest customer, Walmart/Sam’s Club, represented 21.2% 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% or more of our sales during Fiscal 2021, 2020, and 2019.  

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 243 such stores and reported sales of $60.3 million during Fiscal 2021 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.  Although we service public health care, military commissaries, and prisons, among other governmental institutions, we do not have any material government contracts.

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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.

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 distributor-owned and operated territories (independent distributors own the rights to distribute certain brands of our fresh packaged bakery foods in defined geographic markets); (2) distribution rights that are classified as available for sale in the Consolidated Balance Sheets; and (3) other company operated territories.  The table below presents the approximate number of territories used by the company as of January 1, 2022:

 

Type of territory

 

Number of

territories

 

Independent distributor-owned and operated territories

 

 

5,340

 

Territories classified as available for sale

 

 

432

 

Other company operated territories

 

 

80

 

Total territories

 

 

5,852

 

 

 

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.

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 containers, folding cartons, 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 supply and demand, global logistics dynamics, 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

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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 brands 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.

Competitive Overview

The U.S. market for fresh and frozen bakery products is estimated at $43.2 billion at retail. This category is intensely competitive and has continued to experience consolidation. 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 12-26-21; Flowers private label sales from SDW):

 

 

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

Some of these smaller regional bakers 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, including the ability to serve retail and foodservice customers, generational changes in family-owned businesses, and competitors’ promotional efforts on branded bread and

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store brands. Competition typically is based on the ability to target changing consumer preferences, product availability (including through e-commerce channels), 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. The store brand share of retail fresh packaged bread in the U.S. accounts for approximately 19% of the dollar sales and approximately 30% of unit sales, though its share has steadily declined over the past seven years, in particular, the last two years.  

Human Capital Resources

As of January 1, 2022 Flowers and its subsidiaries had approximately 8,900 employees located throughout the U.S. and approximately 4,300 long-term leased employees. Approximately 970 employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements and there are no material outstanding labor disputes.

Our legacy of excellence is built on 100+ years of hard work by thousands of Flowers team members. As W.H. Flowers, Jr. said, “The key to any enterprise or goal is people. People of character, people of integrity, people who don’t mind working and taking advantage of their opportunity.” We continue to strive toward a people-centric legacy by implementing initiatives that enhance the lives of each and every employee—current and prospective.

Flowers aims to attract a qualified workforce through an inclusive and accessible recruiting process that utilizes online recruiting platforms, campus outreach, apprenticeships, internships, and job fairs. In 2022, we plan to advance our partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund by leveraging its Talent Sourcing program in our recruiting efforts.

Flowers is also a proud second chance employer, furthering the commitment started by its DKB brand. Established in 2015, the Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation helps businesses create meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. At Flowers, we have implemented recruitment initiatives at our bakeries to attract and retain ex-offenders.

In addition, Flowers is a long-time supporter of causes that support U.S. veterans and their families. Presently, Flowers employs more than 550 veterans.

For current Flowers team members, the company offers competitive wages, benefits, and training opportunities, while also promoting a safe and healthy workplace. The company provides its employees with resources to enhance their skills and careers, including:

 

Elevating the long-term impact of learning and development in the Flowers organization by investing in a new Learning Management System in Fiscal 2022.

 

Providing a range of formal and informal learning programs, which are designed to help employees continuously grow throughout their careers. Programs include Skillsoft online learning and a Mentor Up Mentoring Program which are both available at our bakeries.

 

Offering a variety of programs that contribute to our leadership, training and development goals, including internal programs such as the “Flowers Front-Line Leadership Program,” “Lead Now” for leaders at all levels, and “Leading The Flowers Way” for our high potential leaders.

 

Encouraging employees to discuss their professional development during annual performance reviews with their supervisors.

 

Offering Career Conversations training for supervisory employees to discuss career pathing and employee development.

To foster a greater culture of inclusion, in Fiscal 2021, the entire Flowers senior leadership team participated in unconscious bias training. In Fiscal 2022, Flowers intends to continue its development of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) training for its workforce. The company’s board of directors (the “Board” or “Board of Directors”) receives regular updates from management on our inclusion and diversity efforts.  We are currently developing a standard set of metrics to be included in these updates to the Board to evaluate our progress on these efforts. These metrics could include statistics pertaining to retention, attrition, and promotion and statistics on DEI trainings administered, among others.  

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Additionally, we regularly conduct anonymous surveys to capture feedback from our team members on a variety of topics, including, but not limited to, confidence in company leadership, competitiveness of our compensation and benefits package, career growth opportunities and how we can make our company an employer of choice. The results are shared with our team members and reviewed by senior leadership, who seek to analyze areas of opportunity and prioritize actions and activities in response to the feedback to drive meaningful change in our overall employee experience. As an example, our leadership team approved the implementation of a self-managed time-off policy for those at the director and above level as a result of survey feedback.

Total Rewards

We have a demonstrated history of investing in our workforce by providing competitive wages and benefits. Our benefits package includes:

 

comprehensive health insurance coverage to employees working 30 hours or more each week;

 

parental leave to all new parents for birth, adoption or foster placement;

 

short-term disability to provide wage protection for up to six months;

 

a tuition reimbursement program; and

 

a 401(k) plan with generous company match.

We believe that because employees drive our success, they should share in that success. In addition to competitive wages and benefits, when annual company goals are met, eligible team members at all levels are rewarded with a bonus. Furthermore, in recognition and support of our frontline workers, we paid a total of $5.2 million and $12.3 million in appreciation bonuses to eligible hourly and non-exempt employees, leased labor, and contract workers in Fiscal 2021 and 2020, respectively. These appreciation bonuses are in addition to the company’s annual performance-based cash incentive plan, in which all Flowers employees participate.

Environmental, Social and Governance Objectives

We are developing a process to integrate environmental, social and governance objectives into our decision-making to deliver long-term value. In doing so, we intend to consider guidance by our stakeholders and third-party frameworks, including the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). To learn more about our sustainability goals, programs, and initiatives, you can access the social responsibility section of our website at https://www.flowersfoods.com/company/social-responsibility, which includes a link to our latest Sustainability Report.  

Sustainability is core to our strategy and how we connect with consumers and grow our company. Our leading brands and delicious bakery foods are made with a commitment to operating efficiently, reducing waste, and sourcing ingredients responsibly.

As part of that strategy, we recognize our responsibility to uphold the company’s founding values, which for more than 100 years, have centered on working ethically, responsibly, and with integrity. We also look for ways to make a positive difference at work and in our communities. By collaborating with stakeholders, including team members, business partners, suppliers, and customers, we are working to become a more sustainable company.

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 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

 

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.

Operational Risks

The extent to which the outbreak of the novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and measures taken in response thereto, including any new and emerging variants of the virus and the efficacy and distribution of vaccines, may impact our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and are difficult to predict.

 

COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, including the U.S., and has resulted in governmental and other regulatory authorities throughout the U.S. implementing numerous measures to try to contain the virus and any variants of the virus, such as travel bans and restrictions, quarantines, shelter-in-place orders, business limitations, and shutdowns. These measures have impacted and may further impact the consumer, our workforce and operations, as well as the workforce, operations and financial prospects of our customers, vendors and suppliers. There is considerable uncertainty regarding such measures and potential future measures, such as restrictions on our access to our manufacturing facilities or on our support operations or workforce, or similar limitations for our customers, vendors and suppliers. The spread of COVID-19 has caused us to modify our business practices (including temporary bakery closures and restricting production at certain bakeries, restricting employee travel, developing social distancing plans for our employees, and cancelling physical participation in meetings, events and conferences), and we may take further actions as may be required by governmental and other regulatory authorities or as we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, vendors and suppliers. We can provide no assurance that such measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by the virus or will otherwise be satisfactory to governmental authorities.

 

COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, a widespread and broad-reaching effect on the economy and our business. Some of the impacts our business has experienced, is experiencing or may experience as a result of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

 

We experienced a favorable shift in sales mix to our branded retail products due to the change in consumer buying patterns as a result of COVID-19 during Fiscal 2021 and 2020, which positively impacted our business operations, including our sales, operating income and cash flows;

 

Many of our foodservice customers have periodically closed or restricted operations, which has adversely impacted our revenues from these customers, and has impacted, and could continue to impact, our ability to collect payment from these customers;

 

Consumer fears about contracting the disease have altered preferences and spending habits, including significant increases in purchases of fresh and frozen breads during the pendency of quarantines, shelter-in-place orders and other

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shutdowns; and these trends have moderated in recent periods, which could negatively affect our performance in future periods as compared to prior periods if consumers were to purchase fewer products from us;

 

We have experienced, and may experience in the future, temporary facility closures or partial shutdowns in response to government mandates in certain jurisdictions in which we operate and in response to positive diagnoses for COVID-19 in certain facilities for the safety of our employees;

 

Our distribution networks, including our DSD distribution system and our warehouse delivery system, where we manage our inventory, or the operations of our logistics and other service providers may be disrupted, temporarily closed or experience worker shortages;

 

Disruptions to our suppliers that supply our ingredients, packaging, and other materials necessary to produce, distribute, and sell our products may affect the ability of our suppliers to fulfill their obligations to us and may cause disruptions to our operations; and

 

We also implemented a work from home policy for many of our corporate employees, which may negatively impact productivity and cause other disruptions to our business.

The extent to which the spread of COVID-19 impacts our business, results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and are difficult to predict, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of the outbreak and the emergence of any new or worsening variants, its severity, the actions to contain the virus or treat its impact, including the distribution and efficacy of vaccines, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. Even after the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided, we may continue to experience materially adverse impacts to our business as a result of COVID-19’s global economic impact, including the availability of credit, adverse impacts on our liquidity and any recession that has occurred or may occur in the future. Any of these events could exacerbate the other risks and uncertainties described herein, or in other reports filed with the SEC from time to time, and could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

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, efforts to combat inflation, financial and credit market disruptions or other reasons, could negatively impact us.

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 distributor partners could negatively affect our business. Such changes could result from litigation or one or more adverse rulings by courts or regulatory or governmental bodies in any of the jurisdictions in which we operate regarding our independent distributorship model, including actions or decisions that could affect the independent contractor classifications of the independent distributor partners, or an adverse judgment against the company for actions taken by the independent distributor partners. In addition, these changes could result from regulatory developments based on the manner in which the U.S. Department of Labor applies the Fair Labor Standards Act. Any of these developments could materially and negatively affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Labor shortages and increased turnover or increases in employee and employee-related costs could have adverse effects on our profitability.

We have recently experienced labor shortages at some of our bakeries. A number of factors may adversely affect the labor force available to us, including high employment levels, federal unemployment subsidies, including unemployment benefits offered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other government regulations, which include laws and regulations related to workers’ health and safety, wage and hour practices, and immigration. A labor shortage or increased turnover rates within our employee base could lead to increased costs, such as increased overtime to meet demand and increased wage rates to attract and retain employees, and could negatively affect our ability to efficiently operate our bakeries and bread lines or otherwise operate at full capacity. An overall labor shortage, lack of skilled labor, increased turnover or labor inflation could have a material adverse impact on the company’s operations, results of operations, liquidity or cash flows.  

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Additionally, health care, workers’ compensation, postretirement welfare, and pension costs are increasing and will likely continue to do so. Any substantial increase in these costs may have an adverse impact on our profitability. The company records the liabilities related to its benefit plans based on actuarial valuations, which include key assumptions determined by management. Material changes in benefit plan liabilities 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.

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 53.7% of sales during Fiscal 2021. Our largest customer, Walmart/Sam’s Club, accounted for 21.2% 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.

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 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. Our focus on our long-term goals of being consumer-focused and committed to growing our most profitable brands is dependent on our success in achieving our strategic priorities: (i) develop team; (ii) brands focus; (iii) prioritize margins; and (iv) smart M&A activity. 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 one or more of our business strategies, our business could be adversely affected.

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 the company meet its strategic objectives, consummate a transaction on favorable contractual terms, and achieve expected returns and other financial benefits.

Acquisitions, including future acquisitions, 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;

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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.

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 or political instability, including any escalation of hostility arising out of the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, 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.

The third-party vendor management processes may not be appropriately designed to reduce risks related to the delivery of goods, supplies and services.

As part of a concerted effort to achieve cost savings and efficiencies, we have entered into agreements with third-party vendors for the delivery of goods, supplies and services, including IT services. If we do not select quality vendors, appropriately review vendor contracts and monitor these vendors’ performance (including their ability to protect our customer, consumer or other confidential data), or if any of these third-parties do not perform according to the terms of the agreements, we may not be able to achieve the expected cost savings, we may have to incur additional costs to correct errors made by such third-party vendors or our reputation could be harmed by any failure to perform.

Technology Risks

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.

In addition, our IT systems (including those provided to us by third parties) 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.

We may experience difficulties in designing and implementing the upgrade of our ERP system.

We are in the midst of implementing an upgrade to our ERP system to a more robust platform. The upgrade of the ERP system will be designed to accurately maintain our financial records, enhance our operational functionality and provide timely information to our management team related to the operations of the business. The design and implementation of the upgrade to the ERP system

16


 

requires an investment of significant personnel and financial resources, including substantial expenditures for outside consultants, system hardware and software in addition to other expenses in connection with the transformation of our financial and operating processes. We may not be able to implement the ERP system upgrade successfully without experiencing delays, increased costs and other difficulties, including potential design defects, miscalculations, testing requirements, and the diversion of management’s attention from day-to-day business operations. If we are unable to implement the ERP system upgrade as planned, the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting could be adversely affected, our ability to assess those controls adequately could be delayed, and our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be negatively impacted.

Industry Risks

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 and supply, armed conflict or political instability, including any escalation of hostility arising out of the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, 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.

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 higher-margin products to lower-margin products.

Inflation may adversely affect us by increasing our costs of production, materials, and labor.  In an inflationary environment, such as the current economic environment, depending on the market conditions of the baking industry and the expected raising of interest rate by the United States Federal Reserve, we may be unable to raise the prices of our products enough to keep up with the rate of inflation, which would reduce our profit margins, and continued inflationary pressures could impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

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 and periods of high inflation. Increased competition could result in reduced sales, margins, profits and market share.

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.

17


 

During fiscal years 2018 through 2021, 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.

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.

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.

Legal and Regulatory Risks

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, and the safety of food products and the health and safety of our employees, 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

18


 

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.

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 climate 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.

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.

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.

19


 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

 

Name, Age and Office

 

Business Experience

 

 

 

A.Ryals McMullian

Age 52

President and

Chief Executive Officer

 

Mr. McMullian was elected CEO in May 2019.  Previously, he served as COO from July 2018 until May 2019.  Mr. McMullian served as chief strategy officer from May 2017 to July 2018, and 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 61

Chief Financial Officer and
Chief Accounting Officer

 

Mr. Kinsey was named chief financial officer (“CFO”) and chief accounting officer (“CAO”) in April 2020.  Previously, he served as executive vice president and CFO and chief administrative officer from May 2017 to April 2020. 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 in various accounting roles since joining the company in 1989.  

 

 

 

Bradley K. Alexander

Age 63

Chief Operating Officer

 

Mr. Alexander was named COO in May 2019.  Previously, he served as president of the Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit from May 2017 to May 2019, as executive vice president and COO of Flowers Foods from July 2014 to May 2017, and as president of Flowers Bakeries from July 2008 to July 2014. Mr. Alexander joined the company in 1981.

 

 

 

Robert L. Benton, Jr.

Age 64

     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 from May 2017 until November 2019.  Mr. Benton served as senior vice president and chief manufacturing officer from January 2015 to May 2017 and as senior vice president of manufacturing and operations support from March 2011 until January 2015.  Prior to that, he held various manufacturing positions since joining the company in 1980.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Chaffin

Age 51

Chief Information Officer

 

Mr. Chaffin was named chief information officer (“CIO”) in February 2020 after serving four months in an interim capacity. Prior to joining Flowers, Mr. Chaffin was a partner in the Southeast practice of Fortium Partners, a provider of technology leadership services, from 2019 until joining Flowers. He also served as CIO at sgsco, a global package and brand design and marketing company, from 2015 to 2019 and as CIO for Acosta Sales and Marketing from 2007 to 2015.

 

 

 

H. Mark Courtney

Age 61

Chief Brand Officer

 

 

Mr. Courtney was named chief brand officer in July 2020.  He previously served as president of the Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit from May 2019 to July 2020, senior vice president of retail accounts from May 2017 to May 2019, and senior vice president of sales from June 2008 to May 2017.  Prior to that, Mr. Courtney served in various sales positions since joining the company in 1983.

 

 

 

Debo Mukherjee

Age 54

Chief Marketing Officer

 

Mr. Mukherjee joined Flowers as chief marketing officer in October 2017. Before joining Flowers, Mr. Mukherjee was founder and owner of Intacta Consulting Group, LLC, a marketing consulting firm, from 2015 to 2019. Prior to that, he served as CEO of Redco Foods, Inc. from 2011 to 2015. He also held marketing roles at Mars Inc., Unilever, H.J. Heinz Co. and The Hershey Company.

 

 

 

David M. Roach

Age 52

President, Cake Operations

 

 

Mr. Roach was named president of cake operations in July 2020. He previously served as president of the Snacking/Specialty Business Unit from May 2017 to July 2020 and as senior vice president of organics from September 2015 until May 2017. Mr. Roach served in various sales and management positions since joining the company in 1992.

 

 

 

Tonja Taylor

Age 62

Chief Human Resources Officer

 

Ms. Taylor was named chief human resources officer in May 2017. She served as senior vice president of human resources from September 2013 until May 2017 and as vice president of human resources from June 2008 until September 2013. Prior to these appointments, Ms. Taylor held various human resources positions since joining the company in 1999.

 

 

 

Stephanie B. Tillman

Age 51

Chief Legal Counsel

 

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

 

 

 

Heeth Varnedoe IV

Age 55

     Chief Transformation Officer

 

Mr. Varnedoe was named chief transformation officer in December 2020. Previously, he served as senior vice president of DSD Regions/Sales from 2017 until 2020, as president of Flowers’ Phoenix, Arizona bakery from 2016 to 2017, as vice president of national accounts from 2013 to 2016, and as director of DSD cake sales in 2012. Mr. Varnedoe joined Flowers in 1990 and held a number of positions before leaving the company in 2000 to pursue other business interests.  He rejoined Flowers in 2012.

20


 

Name, Age and Office

 

Business Experience

 

 

 

D. Keith Wheeler

Age 58

Chief Sales Officer

 

Mr. Wheeler was named chief sales officer in May 2017. Previously, he served as president of Flowers Bakeries from July 2014 until May 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Wheeler served in various leadership roles, including regional senior vice president, regional controller, and bakery president. He joined the company in 1988.

 

 

 

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments.

None

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.  The company also houses an additional shared services center at its Phoenix, Arizona bakery.  

Item 3.

For a description of all material pending legal proceedings, See Note 22, Commitments and Contingencies, of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Form 10-K.

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

Not Applicable

21


 

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 17, 2022, there were approximately 3,307 holders of record of the company’s common stock.

Dividends

The payment of dividends is subject to the discretion of the company’s 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.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer

The company did not purchase any shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2021.

22


 

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 December 31, 2016 through January 1, 2022 the last day of our 2021 fiscal year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 31,

2016

 

 

December 30,

2017

 

 

December 29,

2018

 

 

December 28,

2019

 

 

January 2,

2021

 

 

January 1,

2022

 

FLOWERS FOODS INC

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

100.22

 

 

 

98.33

 

 

 

120.94

 

 

 

130.29

 

 

 

163.68

 

S&P 500 INDEX

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

121.83

 

 

 

115.49

 

 

 

153.58

 

 

 

181.35

 

 

 

233.41

 

S&P 500 PACKAGED FOODS &

   MEATS INDEX

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

101.35

 

 

 

82.14

 

 

 

107.52

 

 

 

112.54

 

 

 

127.26

 

S&P MIDCAP 400 INDEX

 

 

100.00

 

 

 

116.24

 

 

 

102.31

 

 

 

130.36

 

 

 

148.26

 

 

 

184.97

 

 

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 December 31, 2016. Flowers Foods’ share price is also indexed to $100 at December 31, 2016.

Item 6.

[Reserved]

 

23


 

 

Item 7.

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

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with Item 1., Business, and the Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Form 10-K. The following information contains forward-looking statements which involve certain risks and uncertainties. See Forward-Looking Statements at the beginning of this Form 10-K.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) is segregated into four sections, including:

 

Executive overview — provides a summary of our operating performance and cash flows, industry trends, and our strategic initiatives.

 

Critical accounting estimates — describes the accounting areas where management makes critical estimates to report our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Results of operations — an analysis of the company’s consolidated results of operations for Fiscal 2021 compared to Fiscal 2020 as presented in the Consolidated Financial Statements. Refer to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2021 for a discussion of the results of operations for Fiscal 2020 compared to Fiscal 2019.

 

Liquidity, capital resources and financial position — an analysis of cash flow, contractual obligations, and certain other matters affecting the company’s financial position.

MATTERS AFFECTING COMPARABILITY

Detailed below are expense (recovery) items affecting comparability that will provide additional context while reading this discussion:

 

 

 

Fiscal 2021

 

 

Fiscal 2020

 

 

Footnote

 

 

52 weeks

 

 

53 weeks

 

 

Disclosure

 

 

(Amounts in thousands)

 

 

 

Business process improvement consulting costs

 

$

31,293

 

 

$

 

 

Note 2

Project Centennial consulting costs

 

 

 

 

 

15,548

 

 

Note 5

ERP Road Mapping consulting costs

 

 

 

 

 

4,363

 

 

Note 2

Restructuring and related impairment charges

 

 

 

 

 

35,483

 

 

Note 5

Loss on inferior ingredients

 

 

944

 

 

 

107

 

 

Note 4

Non-restructuring lease termination gain

 

 

(2,644

)

 

 

(4,066

)

 

Note 13, 2

Pension plan settlement and curtailment loss

 

 

403

 

 

 

108,757

 

 

Note 20

Acquisition consideration adjustment

 

 

3,400

 

 

 

 

 

Note 12

Legal settlements and related costs

 

 

23,089

 

 

 

7,250

 

 

Note 22

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

 

16,149

 

 

 

 

 

Note 14

Other pension plan termination costs

 

 

 

 

 

133

 

 

 

Multi-employer pension plan withdrawal costs

 

 

3,300

 

 

 

 

 

Note 20

 

 

$

75,934

 

 

$

167,575

 

 

 

Business process improvement consulting costs related to the transformation strategy initiatives.  In the second half of Fiscal 2020, we launched initiatives to transform how we operate our business, which includes upgrading our information system to a more robust platform, as well as investments in e-commerce, autonomous planning, and our “bakery of the future” initiative.  These transformation strategy initiatives are further discussed in Item 1., Business, of this Form 10-K.  In Fiscal 2022, we currently expect costs for the upgrade of our ERP system (a portion of which may be expensed as incurred, capitalized, recognized as a cloud computing arrangement, or recognized as a prepaid service contract) to be approximately $85 million to $95 million. Costs related to our digital strategy initiatives are anticipated in Fiscal 2022, but these amounts cannot currently be estimated. The expensed portion of the consulting costs related to both the ERP upgrade and digital strategy initiatives incurred in Fiscal 2021 was $31.3 million and is reflected in the selling, distribution, and administrative expenses line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income. Initial road mapping costs for these initiatives were incurred in Fiscal 2020 and are included in the “ERP Road Mapping consulting costs” in the table above.  

Project Centennial consulting costs.  During the second quarter of Fiscal 2016, we launched Project Centennial, an enterprise-wide business and operational review.  Key initiatives of the project were to enhance revenue growth, improve efficiencies, streamline operations, and make investments to strengthen our competitive position and improve margins over the long-term.   The project was completed at the end of Fiscal 2020.  Consulting costs associated with the project in Fiscal 2020 were $15.5 million and primarily related to further refining our organizational structure, portfolio and supply chain optimization initiatives, and improving our cake

24


 

operations. These consulting costs are reflected in the selling, distribution and administrative expenses line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income.  

Consulting costs for planning the upgrade of our ERP platform and the broader digital strategy initiative.  As discussed above and in Item 1., Business, of this Form 10-K, we began planning for the upgrade of our ERP platform and other system related enhancements (the “ERP road mapping”) during the third quarter of Fiscal 2020.  We incurred consulting costs associated with these activities of $4.4 million and these costs are reflected in the selling, distribution and administrative expenses line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income. We completed the initial road mapping activities in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020 and transitioned to the design phase of the project.  

Restructuring and related impairment charges associated with Project Centennial.  The following table details charges recorded in Fiscal 2020 (amounts in thousands):

 

 

 

Fiscal 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employee termination benefits and other cash charges

 

$

7,779

 

Property, plant, equipment and spare parts impairments

 

 

7,110

 

Lease termination and lease impairment charges

 

 

13,474

 

Brand rationalization impairments

 

 

7,120

 

 

 

$

35,483

 

 

In Fiscal 2020, the company reevaluated its organizational structure in an effort to increase its focus on brand growth and product innovation and to improve underperforming bakeries.  The organizational structure changes resulted in employee termination benefits charges in Fiscal 2020 related to a voluntary employee separation plan (the “VSIP”) of $2.6 million and an involuntary reduction-in-force plan of $5.3 million. The VSIP and reduction-in-force plans together eliminated approximately 250 positions across different departments and job levels and all remaining payments related to the plans were paid in early Fiscal 2021.  

During Fiscal 2020, the company sold three closed bakeries that were included in assets held for sale and certain idle equipment at other bakeries, resulting in the recognition of $5.7 million of impairment charges.  Additionally, the company recognized property, plant, and equipment impairment charges of $0.6 million for manufacturing line and distribution depot closures and an office building the company decided to sell, and $0.7 million for spare parts related to equipment the company no longer intended to use.    

In order to optimize our distribution network, we vacated certain distribution depots during the third quarter of Fiscal 2020, some of which are owned and others that are leased.  These actions resulted in the recognition of lease termination charges and lease impairment charges totaling $13.5 million.    

Additionally, in order to optimize sales and production of our organic products, the company decided to cease using the Alpine Valley brand, a finite-lived trademark, resulting in a $4.6 million impairment charge in the second quarter of Fiscal 2020.  The company decided to cease using one of its regional brands and recognized a $1.3 million impairment charge in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020.  Ingredient and packaging impairments of $1.2 million were also recognized as a result of brand rationalization initiatives.         

Loss on inferior ingredients. In the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2021, the company issued a voluntary recall on certain Tastykake multi-pack cupcakes sold in eight states and certain Tastykake Krimpets distributed to retail customers throughout the U.S. due to the potential presence of tiny fragments of metal mesh wire.  The recall was initiated following notification by a vendor of the possible contamination in a supplied ingredient.  The company incurred costs of $1.8 million related to the recall in Fiscal 2021 and these costs are recorded in our Consolidated Statements of Income.  The company is seeking recovery of these losses.

In Fiscal 2020, we incurred costs of $1.0 million related to receiving inferior ingredients used in the production of certain of our gluten-free products.  In the first quarter of Fiscal 2021, we incurred an additional $0.1 million of costs related to the inferior gluten-free ingredients and in the third quarter of Fiscal 2021, we received reimbursements of approximately $1.0 million for these previously incurred costs.  These costs and reimbursements are recorded in the loss on inferior ingredients line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income.

In Fiscal 2020, in addition to the costs related to inferior gluten-free ingredients, we recognized an adjustment of $0.2 million related to previously recorded inferior yeast costs and received a $1.2 million reimbursement for the direct costs associated with receiving inferior yeast in a prior year. These direct costs and reimbursements of direct costs are included in our Consolidated Income Statements.  We also received a reimbursement of $3.9 million for indirect losses associated with receiving inferior yeast in a prior

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year and this amount is included in the selling, distribution, and administrative expenses line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income.

Non-restructuring lease termination gain.  In Fiscal 2021, the company purchased twenty-seven warehouses that were included in the company’s operating leased assets.  Two of the purchased properties were fully impaired in Fiscal 2020, resulting in the recognition of a $2.6 million gain upon completion of the purchase of these assets and this amount is included in the selling, distribution, and administrative expenses line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income.

In Fiscal 2020, due to a change in the contractual terms with a transportation entity that transports a significant portion of our fresh bakery products to allow for substitution of assets, among other changes to the terms, a reassessment of the embedded lease accounting treatment was triggered.  Based our analysis, we determined the contracts associated with the transportation entity no longer qualify for embedded lease treatment and, in unwinding these leases, the company recognized a noncash gain of $4.1 million in the selling, distribution and administrative expenses line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income.  

Pension plan settlement and curtailment loss.  In the company-sponsored defined benefit pension plan for union employees (“Plan No. 2”), retired and terminated vested pension plan participants not yet receiving their benefit payments have the option to elect to receive their benefit as a single lump sum payment.  In the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2021, a settlement charge of $0.4 million was triggered as a result of lump sum distributions paid in Fiscal 2021.

On September 28, 2018, the Board approved a resolution to terminate the Flowers Foods, Inc. Retirement Plan No. 1 (“Plan No. 1”), effective December 31, 2018.  In the first quarter of Fiscal 2020, the company distributed a portion of the pension plan assets to participants as lump sum payments and transferred the remaining obligations and assets to an insurance company in the form of a nonparticipating group annuity contract.  No cash contributions were required in Fiscal 2020 to support this transaction.  In Fiscal 2020, the company recognized $108.8 million of non-cash pension termination charges, comprised of a settlement charge of $104.5 million and a curtailment loss of $4.3 million, and an additional $0.1 million of cash charges for other pension termination charges in our Consolidated Statements of Income.

Acquisition consideration adjustment.  In connection with an acquisition completed in Fiscal 2012, the company agreed to make the selling shareholders whole for certain taxes incurred by the stakeholders on the sale.  There was recently a tax determination that the selling shareholders owed additional taxes.  Unless there is a successful appeal which overturns the determination, the company estimates that it will owe the shareholders approximately $3.4 million, and the Company has recorded this cost in the selling, distribution, and administrative expenses line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income in Fiscal 2021.

Legal settlements and related costs.  In Fiscal 2021, we reached an agreement to settle certain distributor-related litigation for a settlement payment, inclusive of plaintiffs’ attorney fees, of $16.5 million.  The settlement also requires a phased repurchase of approximately 75 distribution rights and the company estimates this cost to be approximately $6.6 million.  The terms of the settlement require court approval.  In Fiscal 2020, we reached agreements to settle distributor-related litigation in the aggregate amount of $7.3 million, including plaintiffs’ attorney fees and the company’s FICA obligations.  All amounts related to legal settlements and related costs are recorded in the selling, distribution and administrative expenses line item of the Consolidated Statements of Income.  At January 1, 2022, $23.1 million of settlements were accrued (inclusive of obligations for repurchase of distribution rights).

Loss on extinguishment of debt. On April 8, 2021, we completed the early redemption of the Company’s $400.0 million of 4.375% senior notes due 2022 (the “2022 notes”) with proceeds received from the issuance of the Company’s $500.0 million of 2.400% senior notes due 2031 (the “2031 notes”) on March 9, 2021.  We recognized a loss on extinguishment of debt of $16.1 million comprised of a make-whole cash payment of $15.4 million and the write-off of unamortized debt discount and debt issuance costs totaling $0.7 million.

Multi-employer pension plan withdrawal costs.  On September 22, 2021, the union participants of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Fund (the “Fund”) at our Birmingham, Alabama plant voted to withdraw from the Fund in the most recent collective bargaining agreement.  The withdrawal was effective, and the union participants became eligible to participate in the Flowers Foods, Inc. 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan, on December 1, 2021.  This resulted in the recognition of a pension plan withdrawal liability of $3.3 million (including transition payments) in our Consolidated Statements of Income.  The transition payments were paid in December 2021 and the withdrawal liability is anticipated to be paid in the first half of Fiscal 2022.  While this is our best estimate of the ultimate cost of the withdrawal from this Fund, additional withdrawal liability may be incurred based on the final Fund assessment or in the event of a mass withdrawal as defined by statute, occurring any time within the next three years following our complete withdrawal.

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Additional Items Impacting Comparability

Reporting Periods.    The company operates on a 52-53 week fiscal year ending the Saturday nearest December 31. Fiscal 2021 consisted of 52 weeks and Fiscal 2020 consisted of 53 weeks.  Fiscal 2022 will consist of 52 weeks.  

COVID-19.  On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic and recommended containment and mitigation measures worldwide, which led to adverse impacts on the U.S. and global economies. Due to the drastic change in consumer buying patterns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced a favorable shift in sales mix to our branded retail products as consumers increased at-home consumption of food products resulting in significant growth in income from operations in Fiscal 2021 and 2020 as compared to Fiscal 2019.  As shutdowns and capacity restrictions imposed at the onset of the pandemic have eased, our sales volumes have declined in Fiscal 2021 as compared to the prior year, which included the peak period of demand for our branded retail products and an additional week.  Improved price/mix in Fiscal 2021 resulting from favorable pricing we have implemented and the continued favorable shift in mix from store branded retail to branded retail sales partially offset the volume declines.  For additional details on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our business operations and results of operations, see the “Executive Overview – Impact of COVID-19 on Our Business,” “Results of Operations” and “Liquidity and Capital Resources” sections below.

Conversion of our Lynchburg, Virginia bakery to organic production. During Fiscal 2020, we converted our Lynchburg, Virginia bakery to an all-organic production facility.  The converted facility has increased production capacity for our DKB products, allowing the company to better serve east coast markets with fresher product and reduce distribution costs.  We incurred start-up costs related to the conversion of approximately $5.1 million in Fiscal 2020 and these costs are included in materials, supplies, labor and other production costs in our Consolidated Statements of Income.  The bakery resumed production at the end of the third quarter of Fiscal 2020.

EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW

We are the second-largest producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the U.S. with Fiscal 2021 sales of $4.3 billion.  We operate in the highly competitive fresh bakery market.  Our product offerings include a wide range of fresh breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes and tortillas, as well as frozen breads and rolls, which we produce at 46 plants in 18 states. Our products are sold under leading brands such as Nature’s Own, Dave’s Killer Bread, Canyon Bakehouse, Tastykake, Mrs. Freshley’s, and Wonder.  See Item 1., Business, of this Form 10-K for additional information regarding our customers and brands, business strategies, strengths and core competencies, and competition and risks.  

Impact of COVID-19 on Our Business:

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted our business operations and results of operations during Fiscal 2021 and 2020, as further described under “Results of Operations” and “Liquidity and Capital Resources” below.  The resulting dramatic changes in consumer buying patterns has led to a significant rise in demand for our branded retail products due to increases in at-home dining.  Sales through our non-retail category, which includes foodservice, restaurant, institutional, vending, thrift stores, and contract manufacturing, declined substantially at the onset of the pandemic in March of Fiscal 2020, but as the pandemic has progressed and mandatory shutdowns and restaurant closures across the U.S. have eased, our non-retail sales have been recovering. Fiscal 2021 sales declined 1.3% mostly due to the additional week in the prior year which negatively impacted Fiscal 2021 sales 1.7%.  Although the prior year benefitted from the significant rise in demand for our branded retail products at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as positive shifts in mix throughout the year and the additional week, Fiscal 2021 benefitted from favorable pricing, a continued positive shift in mix from store branded retail to branded retail products, and a partial recovery in non-retail sales. Fiscal 2021 sales remained elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels as we continued to benefit from the positive mix shift to branded retail products during the ongoing pandemic and favorable pricing, partially offset by volume declines.  

In recognition and support of our frontline workers, in Fiscal 2021 and 2020, we paid $5.2 million and $12.3 million, respectively, in appreciation bonuses to eligible hourly and non-exempt employees, leased labor, and contract workers.  These appreciation bonuses are in addition to the company’s annual performance-based cash incentive plan, in which all Flowers employees participate. Although our branded retail sales volumes have moderated as the pandemic has continued, we cannot currently estimate when or if they will return to pre-pandemic levels.

On April 14, 2020, we temporarily ceased production at our Tucker, Georgia bakery and on July 9, 2020, we temporarily ceased production at our Savannah, Georgia bakery.  Both closures were due to an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at these bakeries and the related increase in number of workers self-quarantining.  Production resumed at the Tucker bakery on April 27, 2020 and at the Savannah Bakery on July 17, 2020.  Although our other bakeries were able to assist with meeting production needs in these instances, the potential closure of several of our bakeries across the country at the same time – or in close succession – could negatively affect our ability to meet our production requirements, even if the interruption is temporary.  While we have had no

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temporary production interruptions in Fiscal 2021 due to COVID-19, such interruptions are possible due to the uncertainty of the pandemic.  Additionally, unforeseen disruptions in other areas of our operations, including but not limited to procurement of raw materials, transport of our products, or recovery by our foodservice customers, could negatively impact our operations, results of operations, cash flows, and liquidity.

We believe we have sufficient liquidity to satisfy our cash needs and we continue to take steps to preserve adequate liquidity during the ongoing pandemic as further discussed in the “Liquidity and Capital Resources” section below.  As discussed further in Item 1., Business, of this Form 10-K, we are continuing to move forward with the upgrade of our ERP system and other transformation strategy initiatives and do not anticipate the pandemic to materially alter the timing of these initiatives.

We continue to monitor the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business operations, results of operations, and liquidity. Our operations may continue to experience disruption due to the continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic, including but not limited to additional variants of the COVID-19 virus, new geographic hotspots, changes in the number of COVID-19 cases, the rate of vaccination within the U.S. population and the efficacy of the vaccines, changes in the global and U.S. economic environment, and changes in pandemic safety policies.  Additionally, if there is a significant shift in mix from branded retail to store branded retail products, we expect that our results of operations, including our net sales, earnings, and cash flows, could be negatively impacted.  

Our main focus throughout the pandemic has been and continues to be the health and safety of our team members and independent distributor partners. From the start of the pandemic, we have followed the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), taking a number of recommended steps to safeguard those in our facilities. These steps included, but are not limited to, monitoring the symptoms of everyone entering our facilities, requiring face coverings, maintaining (where possible) social distancing of six feet, conducting enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of common areas and frequently touched surfaces, performing decontamination of work areas and equipment when there is a confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19 at a facility, and contact tracing. Company-wide bans on non-essential travel and non-essential visitors at all locations were put into place, corporate offices were closed, and office staff were directed to work remotely. In addition, the company issued regular communications about COVID-19 prevention steps. When COVID-19 vaccinations became available, we shared educational information with our team members and encouraged vaccination for those eligible.  

We have followed the guidance issued by the CDC and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and modified our face mask and wellness screening policies to align with local, state, and workplace safety regulations. We remain vigilant in reporting COVID-19 cases in our facilities and continue to evaluate our pandemic safety measures as the pandemic evolves. The majority of employees in non-production roles continue to work remotely. We intend to implement a work policy in 2022 addressing guidelines for three distinct work personas: full-time remote, full-time in office, or flex, a combination of the two. These plans may be impacted by, among other things, consideration of pandemic safety measures, the rate of vaccinations and the efficacy of the vaccines, the threat of additional COVID-19 variants, and the ability of office staff to work effectively from remote locations. Although the impact of these measures, or any other measures adopted by governmental authorities, on our business and workforce is uncertain, these requirements may result in increased costs and could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

During Fiscal 2021, we experienced labor shortages at some of our bakeries. A number of factors may continue to adversely affect the labor force available to us, including high employment and government regulations. In addition, there also are factors that may negatively affect our ability to efficiently operate our production lines or run at full capacity. These might include, but are not limited to, a labor shortage or increased turnover rates within our workforce that could lead to increased labor costs, including additional overtime to meet demand and higher wage rates to attract and retain workers. An overall labor shortage, lack of skilled labor, increased turnover or labor inflation could have a material adverse impact on the company’s operations, results of operations, liquidity, or cash flows.

Summary of Operating Results, Cash Flows and Financial Condition:

Sales decreased 1.3% in Fiscal 2021 compared to Fiscal 2020 mostly due to the additional week in the prior year.  Although the prior year benefitted from the significant rise in demand for our branded retail products at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional week, Fiscal 2021 benefitted from positive pricing and a continued positive shift in mix from store branded retail to branded retail products and a partial recovery in non-retail sales.  

Income from operations for Fiscal 2021 was $294.9 million compared to $321.5 million in the prior year.  The decrease resulted from sales declines, input cost inflation, higher consulting costs and legal settlements, and greater investments in marketing in the current year, partially offset by prior year restructuring and related impairment charges, and higher short-term incentive compensation paid for appreciation bonuses and workforce-related performance-based cash incentive plans in the prior year.  

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Net income was $206.2 million for Fiscal 2021, an increase of 35.4% as compared to the prior year.  The improvement in the current year resulted primarily from the $108.8 million non-cash pension plan settlement and curtailment loss ($81.6 million net of tax) in the prior year in connection with the termination of Plan No. 1, partially offset by the $16.1 million loss on extinguishment of debt ($12.1 million net of tax) recognized in the current year and decreased income from operations year over year.

In Fiscal 2021, we generated net cash flows from operations of $344.6 million, invested $136.0 million in capital expenditures, and purchased a portfolio of leased warehouses for $64.7 million.  Additionally, we paid $175.9 million in dividends to our shareholders and decreased our total indebtedness by $81.9 million.  On March 9, 2021, we issued the 2031 notes and used the net proceeds from the offering to complete the early redemption of our outstanding 2022 notes and for other debt repayments. Throughout Fiscal 2021, we continued to maintain higher levels of cash on hand compared to pre-pandemic levels in order to ensure future liquidity, although we do not have any presently anticipated need for this additional liquidity. Our cash and cash equivalents balance as of January 1, 2022 was $185.9 million.  In Fiscal 2021, we amended senior unsecured revolving credit facility (the “credit facility”) and our accounts receivable securitization facility (the “AR facility”) to, among other things, extend the maturity dates to July 30, 2026 and September 27, 2023, respectively.

In Fiscal 2020, we generated net cash flows from operations of $454.5 million and invested $97.9 million in capital expenditures.  We increased our total indebtedness by $92.5 million and paid $167.3 million in dividends to our shareholders in Fiscal 2020.  During the first quarter of Fiscal 2020, we borrowed an additional amount under the credit facility in order to ensure future liquidity in response to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and cash and cash equivalents at January 2, 2021 were $307.5 million.

Critical Accounting Estimates

The company’s discussion and analysis of its results of operations and financial condition are based upon the Consolidated Financial Statements of the company, which have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (“GAAP”). The preparation of these financial statements requires the company to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of the revenues, expenses, and cash flows during the reporting period. On an ongoing basis, the company evaluates its estimates, including those related to customer programs and incentives, bad debts, raw materials, inventories, long-lived assets, leased assets, intangible assets, income taxes, restructuring, pensions and other post-retirement benefits, and contingencies and litigation. The company bases its estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates.

The selection and disclosure of the company’s critical accounting estimates have been discussed with the company’s audit committee. Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Form 10-K includes a summary of the significant accounting policies and methods used in the preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statements.  The following table lists, in no particular order of importance, areas of critical assumptions and estimates used in the preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statements.  Additional detail can be found in the following notes:  

 

Critical Accounting Estimate

 

Note

 

Revenue recognition

 

 

 

Derivative financial instruments

 

 

10

 

Long-lived assets

 

 

 

Goodwill and other intangible assets

 

 

9

 

Leases

 

 

13

 

Self-insurance reserves

 

 

22

 

Income tax expense and accruals

 

 

21

 

Postretirement plans

 

 

20

 

Stock-based compensation

 

 

18

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

22

 

 

Revenue Recognition.    Revenue is recognized when obligations under the terms of a contract with our customers are satisfied. Revenue is measured as the amount of consideration we expect to receive in exchange for transferring goods or providing services.  The company records both direct and estimated reductions to gross revenue for customer programs and incentive offerings at the time the incentive is offered or at the time of revenue recognition for the underlying transaction that results in progress by the customer towards earning the incentive. These allowances include price promotion discounts, coupons, customer rebates, cooperative advertising, and product returns. Consideration payable to a customer is recognized at the time control transfers and is a reduction to revenue.   The recognition of costs for promotion programs involves the use of judgment related to performance and redemption

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estimates. Estimates are made based on historical experience and other factors. Price promotion discount expense is recorded as a reduction to gross sales when the discounted product is sold to the customer.

Derivative Financial Instruments.    The company’s cost of primary raw materials is highly correlated to certain commodities markets. Raw materials, such as our baking ingredients, experience price fluctuations. If actual market conditions become significantly different than those anticipated, raw material prices could increase significantly, adversely affecting our results of operations. We enter into forward purchase agreements and other derivative financial instruments qualifying for hedge accounting to manage the impact of volatility in raw material prices. The company measures the fair value of its derivative portfolio using fair value as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in the principal market for that asset or liability. When quoted market prices for identical assets or liabilities are not available, the company bases fair value on internally developed models that use current market observable inputs, such as exchange-quoted futures prices and yield curves. Refer to Item 7A., Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk, of this Form 10-K for additional information about our derivative financial instruments, including a sensitivity analysis of the company’s potential exposure to commodity price risk.

Valuation of Long-Lived Assets, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets.    The company records an impairment charge to property, plant and equipment, goodwill and intangible assets in accordance with applicable accounting standards when, based on certain indicators of impairment, it believes such assets have experienced a decline in value that is other than temporary. Future adverse changes in market conditions or poor operating results of these underlying assets could result in losses or an inability to recover the carrying value of the asset that may not be reflected in the asset’s current carrying value, thereby possibly requiring impairment charges in the future. Impairment charges recorded in Fiscal 2020 are discussed above in the “Matters Affecting Comparability” section.

Flowers has concluded it has one operating segment based on the nature of products that Flowers sells, an intertwined production and distribution model, the internal management structure and information that is regularly reviewed by the CEO, who is the chief operating decision maker, for the purpose of assessing performance and allocating resources. The company also determined we have one reporting unit.  

The company evaluates the recoverability of the carrying value of its goodwill on an annual basis or at a time when events occur that indicate the carrying value of the goodwill may be impaired. We have elected not to perform the qualitative approach, but instead perform a quantitative analysis by comparing the fair value of the reporting unit with which the goodwill is associated to the carrying amount of the reporting unit.  If the fair value is less than the carrying value, the goodwill is written down to the extent the carrying amount exceeds the fair value.

Our annual evaluation of goodwill impairment requires management judgment and the use of estimates and assumptions to determine the fair value of our reporting unit. Fair value is estimated using standard valuation methodologies incorporating market participant considerations and management’s assumptions on revenue, revenue growth rates, operating margins, discount rates, and EBITDA (defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Our estimates can significantly affect the outcome of the test. We perform the fair value assessment using the income and market approach. Changes in our forecasted operating results and other assumptions could materially affect these estimates. This test is performed in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year unless circumstances require this analysis to be completed sooner. The income approach is tested using a sensitivity analysis to changes in the discount rate and yield a sufficient buffer to significant variances in our estimates.  The estimated fair value of our reporting unit exceeded its carrying value in excess of $4.0 billion in Fiscal 2021. A 1% decrease in the discount rate would increase the fair value of the reporting unit by $1.1 billion and a 1% increase in the discount rate would decrease the fair value by $0.8 billion. Based on management’s evaluation, no impairment charges relating to goodwill were recorded for Fiscal 2021 or 2020.

In connection with acquisitions, the company has acquired trademarks, customer lists, and non-compete agreements, a portion of which are amortizable. The company evaluates these assets whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the asset may not be recoverable. The undiscounted future cash flows of each intangible asset are compared to the carrying amount, and if less than the carrying value, the intangible asset is written down to the extent the carrying amount exceeds the fair value. The fair value is computed using the same approach described above for goodwill and includes the same risks and estimates. The fair value of the trademarks could be less than our carrying value if any of our four material assumptions in our fair value analysis: (a) weighted average cost of capital; (b) long-term sales growth rates; (c) forecasted operating margins; and (d) market multiples do not meet our expectations, thereby requiring us to record an asset impairment. We use the multi-period excess earnings and relief from royalty methods to value these intangibles. The method used for impairment testing purposes is consistent with the valuation method employed at acquisition of the intangible asset.  No impairment charges related to amortizing intangible assets were recorded in Fiscal 2021.  Impairment charges recorded in Fiscal 2020 related to amortizable intangible assets totaled $5.9 million and are di