BOSTON — The global recognition of the Heinz brand has boosted international growth for the Kraft Heinz Co.
“The Heinz brand is one of those unique brands in the world that, although our footprint is not really global, we have a global recognition for the brand,” said Miguel Patricio, chief executive officer, in a Sept. 6 presentation at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston.
He said even in countries, such as Colombia or Ecuador, where Kraft Heinz has no distribution, consumers have a high awareness of the Heinz brand.
Finding the right distribution partners has been crucial in building sales in Latin America, said Carlos A. Abrams-Rivera, president of Kraft Heinz and president of the North America zone.
“We see the model that started in Brazil,” he said. “We have expanded to Chile, and we have still so much opportunity in Latin America.”
International sales for Pittsburgh-based Kraft Heinz increased 9% to $1.64 billion in the second quarter ended July 1, which compared with $1.52 billion in the previous year’s second quarter.
Pasta sauce sales increased as inflation shifted calorie consumption, Mr. Abrams-Rivera said, explaining that consumers are seeking less expensive items.
“If you want to have a bowl of pasta rather than a steak with a salad and a potato, it's like all those things have a shift in terms of the amount of volume that people are eating, but the actual calorie count is maybe not that different for the family,” he said.
A microwave innovation is on tap, he added.“It is an innovative technology that we have patents behind that allows us to make sure that when you take out of the microwave the food, that it will taste like you have grilled it,” Mr. Abrams-Rivera said. “The first foray to that will be this year, with crispy microwave on the grilled cheese.”