The Walt Disney Co. is mulling possible changes to combat an ongoing increase in inflation, including possibly cutting the portion size of food sold at the Disneyland Resort theme parks and looking at prices.
During a quarterly earnings call this week, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy talked about how the company is trying to keep costs down amid rising inflation rates that the U.S. hasn’t seen in decades.
While Disneyland’s ticket prices already increased last month, executives are still eyeing ways to deal with the nationwide issue.
“There are lots of things that are worth talking about. You know, we can adjust suppliers, we can substitute products,” McCarthy said, according to a recording of the call. “We can cut portion size, which is probably good for some people’s waistline.”
She also added that while company will take a look at pricing, it won’t “just straight across … increase prices.”
McCarthy’s comments came Wednesday, the same day the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its October Consumer Price Index, which showed that the consumer price index soared 6.2% from a year ago — the biggest 12-month jump since 1990.
“It’s a large blow against the transitory narrative,’’ said Jason Furman, who served as the top economic adviser in the Obama administration. “Inflation is not slowing. It’s maintaining a red-hot pace.’’
As for how long it will last, consumer price inflation will likely endure as long as companies struggle to keep up with consumers’ prodigious demand for goods and services. A resurgent job market — employers have added 5.8 million jobs this year — means that Americans can continue to splurge on everything from lawn furniture to new cars. And the supply chain bottlenecks show no sign of clearing.
Megan Greene, chief economist at the Kroll Institute, suggested that inflation and the overall economy will eventually return to something closer to normal.
“I think it it will be ‘transitory’,’’ she said of inflation. “But economists have to be very honest about defining transitory, and I think this could last another year easily.’’
Despite the inflation rates, Disney did turn a quarterly profit, as the Burbank-based company was bolstered in part by the continued reopening of its Anaheim theme parks.
Disney reported a net income of $159 million in the three months through Oct. 2, compared with a loss of $710 million in its fiscal fourth quarter a year ago. At that time, both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park were closed still due to state-mandated COVID-19 closures.