Kraft Heinz rallies by breaking up silos, expanding internationally



PARIS — Expanding internationally, focusing on foodservice and breaking up silos all contributed to the Kraft Heinz Co. growing its business over the past three years, said two executives June 15 in the Deutsche Bank dbAccess Global Consumer Conference.

The stock price for Kraft Heinz on the Nasdaq closed at $91.65 per share on June 15, 2017, but it had dropped to $30.31 per share by June 14, 2019.

“Our brands were underinvested (three years ago),” said Rafael de Oliveira, zone president of international markets. “Our assets, in some ways, depleted, not invested enough. There was a lack of confidence on investors. So we were really at the bottom.”

Kraft Heinz’s stock price has stopped plunging and closed at $36.18 per share on June 15 of this year.

Two building blocks for growth have come in emerging markets and foodservice, said Andre Maciel, global chief financial officer.

“Those two combined, they represent 20% of our business and have been growing double-digits for the last three years and gaining share worldwide,” he said.

International sales, not including Canada, for the fiscal year ended Dec. 25, 2021, were $5.69 billion, which compared with $5.25 billion for the fiscal year ended Dec. 28, 2019.

Hiring external talent, including Miguel Patricio as chief executive officer, and breaking up silos to improve communication between business segments helped Kraft Heinz recover, too, Mr. de Oliveira said. Three years ago, the supply chain and the commercial side operated independently in many ways, he said in giving one example.

“Many of the business units within the US, but then (other) countries as well, (were) not taking advantage of the scale we have as a company,” Mr. de Oliveira said. “So that has changed a lot. It has changed with more than 50% of the leadership team coming from outside with experience in their functional areas.”

Mr. Maciel added, “The silo breaking is massive for our company.” 



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