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Consumer goods companies walk a tightrope as inflation surges
Big global brands Pepsi and Levi Strauss told investors this week they offset inflation with price increases, but rising costs of everything from aluminum to cotton signal tighter times ahead for consumer goods companies. Freight costs and raw material prices have surged this year across industries due to global supply chain disruptions, squeezing profit margins at companies looking to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cushion the blow, PepsiCo Inc and Levi Strauss & Co, among the first batch of consumer product companies to report quarterly earnings, have raised prices for jeans, snacks and sodas, helping results exceed expectations.