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Heinz, Kraft Foods will merge

BY Ryan Chavis

 

PITTSBURGH and NORTHFIELD, Ill. — H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods Group on Wednesday announced that the two entities will merge to create The Kraft Heinz Company, which will result in the third largest food-and-beverage company in North America, the companies said. 
 
Together, the newly formed company will have eight $1+ billion brands and five brands in the range of $500 million and $1 billion. 
 
"By bringing together these two iconic companies through this transaction, we are creating a strong platform for both U.S. and international growth,” said Alex Behring, chairman of Heinz and the managing partner at 3G Capital. “Our combined brands and businesses mean increased scale and relevance both in the U.S. and internationally. We have the utmost respect for the Kraft business and its employees, and greatly look forward to working together as we integrate the two companies."
 
Kraft chairman and CEO John Cahill reiterated the significant business opportunities that will arise as a result of the merger. "This combination offers significant cash value to our shareholders and the opportunity to be investors in a company very well positioned for growth, especially outside the United States, as we bring Kraft's iconic brands to international markets,” he said. 
 
Once the transaction closes, Alex Behring will become the chairman of The Kraft Heinz Co.. John Cahill will become vice chairman and chair of a newly formed operations and strategy committee of the board of directors. The board of directors of the combined entity will be comprised of five members appointed by the current Kraft board, as well as the current Heinz Board. 
 
According to a statement, Kraft shareholders will own a 49% stake in the newly formed company; current Heinz shareholders will own 51% on a fully diluted basis. Kraft shareholders will receive stock and a special cash dividend of $16.50 per share. 
 
The Kraft Heinz Co. will be co-headquartered in Pittsburgh and the Chicago area, according to the companies. 
 

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Cascade Ice debuts latest beverage flavor

BY Ryan Chavis

 

SEATTLE — Cascade Ice, a brand from Unique Beverage Co., debuted the latest flavor in its 21-flavor portfolio. The company invited the public to vote via Facebook to determine which variety would grace store shelves, with Strawberry Orange Mango taking top honors. 
 
"Cascade Ice's Orange Mango and strawberry-infused flavors have been top-sellers for years. Combining them proved to be a tasty no-brainer for our fan base," said Mike Broadwell, president and CEO of Unique Beverage Co. "We've always been known for creating new & unique flavors. In fact, we were the first sparkling water to introduce popular flavors like Strawberry Lemonade, Coconut, Blueberry Watermelon, McIntosh Apple, among many others and will continue to come up with new flavors for the enjoyment of our fans." 
 
Consumers can visit CascadeIceWater.com for glimpse of the entire range of flavors as well as a complete list of availability by state. According to the brand, consumers can also head to Facebook and Twitter for the chance to win free samples. 

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Mondelēz scores big with Major League Soccer

BY DSN STAFF

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — Mondelēz International, the company behind such brands as Oreo, Ritz and Honey Maid, announced a deal to become the official snack of Major League Soccer. The multi-year sponsorship will increase the brands’ presence in the sport as they enter year two of the #PassTheLove campaign, a fully integrated program that will spread the passion for the sport coast to coast, the company said.
 
“MLS has played an enormous role in the explosion of soccer in America, and we’re excited about how this great league and its fans can help us #PassTheLove,” said Stephen Chriss, senior director, North America Consumer Engagement and Marketing Services at Mondelēz International. “Our MLS sponsorship opens even more avenues to reinforce how our snacks increase the fun of soccer whether you’re at the stadium, watching on TV or playing the game.”
 
The “Official Snack of MLS” designation will include the cookie, candy, cracker and gum categories and will include a series of globally-recognized brand names by Mondelēz International. The deal will include all forms of media: retail, shopper marketing, consumer promotions, PR and social media. According to the company, the sponsorship includes rights to activate AT&T MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup, MLS’ championship game, and to align with current players and other league ambassadors. 
 
By securing this partnership, Mondelēz International has the potential to interact with a broad range of consumers, including multicultural audiences. 
 
“By tapping into the excitement surrounding MLS and soccer, we’re giving our snack brands amazing opportunities to appeal to moms, dads, teens and athletes in their communities,” Chriss said. “And this sponsorship strengthens our relevance with multicultural consumers, many of whom love soccer and identify with brands like ours who have made an authentic, long-term commitment to the sport.”
 
Through these expanding sponsorships, Mondelēz International also has positioned itself as what it describes as a “key player” in soccer at a time when attendance and enthusiasm for the sport continue to climb. The company’s #PassTheLove campaign, a social movement that launched in 2014, will also benefit from the new deal with MLS. 
 
“Our #PassTheLove campaign proved the power of soccer to help our brands score with consumers, and we plan to make this year even bigger,” Chriss said.
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