America's Third Largest Food Company Is Cutting 20% of Its Products
Kraft-Heinz, America's third-largest food company, will discontinue about 20% of its product lines by the end of the year as it moves to downsize its portfolio. With the announcement, Kraft-Heinz follows other food and beverage titans like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, which recently announced similar cuts in order to streamline operations and eliminate dead weight amid the pandemic. (Related: 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.)
The cuts will support Kraft-Heinz's new strategy of cutting costs and using those savings to boost its most successful product lines. In September, CEO Miguel Patricio announced plans to increase its marketing investment by 30%, focusing on high-growth products like Heinz ketchup, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and Oscar Mayer Lunchables. For example, long-standing classics like Oscar Mayer hot dogs are getting a makeover to suit new customer sensibilities—a simpler ingredient list and new modern packaging.
And while those products clearly aren't going away anytime soon, about one-fifth of the company's less popular items, which amount to more than 1,000 products, are slated for discontinuation this year.
For now, Kraft-Heinz is refusing to reveal which products are on the chopping block, but judging by the falling pre-pandemic sales, they may include items in the Jello-O, Miracle Whip, and Velveeta lines. What we do know is that the cuts will mostly include items sold in the U.S. and take place across the company's vast portfolio, according to Business Insider.
Kraft-Heinz is also pulling back on the number of new innovation projects in its pipeline. In 2021, it will launch fewer products than it did this year, U.S. Zone President Carlos Abrams-Rivera said.
Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.