Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Colgate-Palmolive
Sure. Thanks, Dara. Let me start a little bit about the pricing comment because I think it's obviously core to how we're thinking about the balance of the year. As you know, we took pricing in at least the developed markets a little late in the quarter. As we had talked about in the fourth quarter, we had planned to take pricing in February, March and April and that's exactly what happened. So we didn't get the benefits of the pricing in the first quarter P&L, largely in North America as well as Europe, while we were able to get significant pricing across the developing part of the world, it was North America and Europe, which lagged a little bit in the quarter. As we exited the quarter, we saw high single-digit pricing being executed, particularly in the March month, and obviously, that has continued to transpire as we look at the strong sales that we're seeing in April. We have likewise continued to accelerate pricing in the developing part of the world in the year to go.
So a combination of what we're doing in the developed world and the execution of those prices, which was lagged a little bit, particularly in Europe as we were going through some longer negotiations than we anticipated as we entered the quarter -- and we've consequently taken more pricing in the rest of the world, we feel very good about where we are from pricing and March being more indicative of the type of pricing that you will see in the balance of the year. So, so far, so good, particularly around elasticities, volumes are more or less in line with where we thought. But it's early days on elasticity. We'll see how that unfolds in the balance of the year. But we obviously have, we believe, a very strong innovation plan, very strong promotional plan as well.
So on pricing, which I think is core to our guidance, we feel pretty good based on what we've seen in March, as I said, where we see it in April and more importantly, the plans that we put in place for the balance of the year. Strategically, in terms of choices, no big changes there. I mean we have a really strong growth plans, as we've talked about going into the year on premium innovation, as well as core innovation. You heard a little bit of that in my comments, two significant launches on core innovation. That's our Hawley & Hazel business, which is the number one brand in China that is a complete portfolio change across the entire business. That was obviously some of the softness we saw in volume in the first quarter was driven by the fact that we were transitioning into an entirely new bundle across the entire portfolio.
And likewise, on our Prescription Diet business, which you know, we've had great success on the Science Diet, we're now taking a lot of those learnings into improved nutrition, improved packaging and conceptual execution on the Prescription Diet business, which is at a premium price. I'd also say that on some of our other core businesses around the world, particularly given the pricing environment that we're faced with, we are now in a much better place to execute relaunches given we have more -- a better line of sight on our supply chain issues that we were faced with. That was obviously taking time away from putting new products in the market.
So strategically, when we start thinking about how that lays out for this year and next, we will get back to a lot of those core relaunches, which will allow us to take pricing, obviously bolster volume and value at the same time. So that's kind of where we are strategically, making the right choices, we think about getting pricing in the market, making sure we execute against our very strong innovation plan and protect the core businesses, which will be very, very important as we move into a potential recessionary environment.