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Kraft Foods outlines plans for North American grocery biz

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — The future North American grocery business of Kraft Foods will deliver steady and profitable top-line growth, consistent bottom-line growth and a superior dividend payout, according to the business’s future executive team.

Speaking this week at the Barclays Capital Back-to-School Consumer Conference, the future leadership team said that led by such brands as Kraft, Oscar Mayer and Maxwell House, Kraft Foods Group will be North America’s fourth-largest consumer packaged food and beverage company out of the gate, with revenues of approximately $19 billion in 2011. The team added that 10 of the company’s brands achieved sales of $500 million or more in 2011, while an additional 17 brands posted sales of $100 million or more in 2011. What’s more, approximately 80% of Kraft Foods Group’s revenue comes from categories in which the company holds the No. 1 or No. 2 market position.

Kraft Foods Group’s future growth will be driven by a four-part strategic plan: Making its people its competitive edge, executing with excellence, "turbocharging" its iconic brands and redefining efficiency. Additionally, the company expects to be well-positioned over the long term to deliver steady, reliable growth with a strong focus on cash flow to fund a highly competitive dividend and reinvestment in people, innovation and brand-building.

"I have the honor to introduce a new Kraft, one with the spirit of a startup and the soul of a powerhouse," said Tony Vernon, president of Kraft Foods North America and future CEO of Kraft Foods Group. "Our aim is to be North America’s best food and beverage company, and we’ll get there by continuing to offer products consumers love, creating a performance-based culture that motivates and excites employees and becoming the best investment in the industry."

As previously announced, Kraft Foods plans to spin off Kraft Foods Group, which will hold Kraft Foods’ North American grocery business on Oct. 1. Kraft Foods Group will trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "KRFT." Following the spinoff, Kraft Foods will be renamed Mondelez International. Mondelez International will trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "MDLZ."

"Tony and his team have a clear mission and are ready to deliver," said John Cahill, future executive chairman of Kraft Foods Group. "I’m confident we have the right plans and people in place to unlock the value of the North American grocery business after its spinoff."

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Lessons from mobile gaming applied to CPG brand engagement

BY Moira Koch

User engagement is critical to driving brand loyalty. Mobile gaming can offer a unique perspective on how consumer packaged goods firms can engage their consumers.

I recently had the chance to speak with my friend Gregg Carey, co-founder and VP operations for Voxy, a personalized mobile platform to help native Spanish speakers learn English through everyday life experiences (check out Voxy.com). I consider Gregg an expert at mobile technology and I thought I would take advantage of our friendship to gain perspective on how he believes CPG brands can better leverage mobile platforms to gain brand loyalty. Here are the key takeaways of our conversation.

It all boils down to user engagement. Engaging users in two or multi-way interaction is far more effective then pushing out ads, coupons or the like. While the later can drive very short-term purchases, the former builds long-term brand loyalty. As Gregg sees it, one of the most effective ways to engage users is through fun mobile games. He thinks CPG firms can learn a thing or two from the big mobile companies out there today (think Zygna). He suggests that brands need to understand how they fit into their consumer’s lifestyle and build games around that. The key questions CPG firms should be asking are, “how can our brand help our consumers achieve their lifestyle goals and how can we build a game around that?” By building games that reward consumers for achieving goals or by simply building a game which is fun to play and where your brand is a major part of the gaming activities, will increase user engagement and thereby increase brand loyalty. A great example of this is Pepsi’s Brisksaber app that helped promote the Brisk ice tea brand.

I think we are going to see similar apps coming from a much larger range of brands. Be sure you are not left behind.


Moira Koch is a VP at Maia Strategy Group, where she leads consumer packaged goods engagements with an emphasis on retail insights. Prior to joining Maia Strategy Group, she was responsible for developing and launching Bluebeards Original, a premium line of Men’s beard care products sold in retail stores nationwide. Her latest whitepaper “How Mobile Technology is Changing the Retail Environment” is available here.

MORE ARTICLES FROM MOIRA KOCH >

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Stonyfield introduces new yogurt products

BY Allison Cerra

LONDONDERRY, N.H. — Stonyfield has expanded its organic Oikos Greek yogurt portfolio.

The company said that Stonyfield organic Oikos now is available in a variety of tasty flavors made with 1.5% fat organic milk, including pineapple, strawberry, raspberry and classic plain.

"As with anything in life, it’s about finding balance so it’s ideal to have options when deciding which Greek yogurt is right for you," said Mary Kennedy, a nutritionist and fitness specialist at Stonyfield. "The new 1.5% fat Stonyfield organic Oikos is a perfect standalone afternoon snack that will keep you feeling satisfied and stave off cravings until dinnertime."

In addition to the 1.5% fat line, Stonyfield said it also has added nonfat peach mango and superfruits pints to its organic Oikos Greek frozen yogurt line, and also has introduced a lemon flavor to its organic Oikos 0% fat Greek yogurt lineup, which currently includes chocolate and caramel flavors.

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