Madison, WISCONSIN, United States
Madison, WISCONSIN, United States

The Oscar Mayer Company is an American meat and cold cut production company, owned by Kraft Foods Group, known for its hot dogs, bologna, bacon, ham and Lunchables products. Wikipedia.

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News Article | April 29, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kraft Heinz is excited to announce The Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania is the winner of Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2017. After weeks of online voting, Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania demonstrated unrivaled enthusiasm and pride, and proved they are the most passionate hockey community in America. The Kraft Hockeyville™ USA contest, now in its third year of partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL®) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), is awarding $150,000 in arena upgrades to The Rostraver Ice Garden and the opportunity to host an NHL® Pre-Season game between the Pittsburgh Penguins® and St. Louis Blues® televised live on NBCSN. The Rostraver Ice Garden, which first opened in 1965 and hosted the Penguins training camp in the 1970s, had its roof collapse nearly seven years ago because of heavy snow. The collapse caused damage to nearly one-third of the structure and the rink has been in need of renovations ever since. After being awarded Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2017, The Rostraver Ice Garden plans to use the prize money for a number of projects including purchasing a compressor, floor matting in the lobby, pipes and LED lighting. “After tallying millions of votes, we’re thrilled to name Belle Vernon Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2017,” said Nina Barton, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kraft Heinz. “When we brought Kraft Hockeyville to the U.S. three years ago, we set out to help improve local rinks and unite hockey communities across the country under a common interest, passion and sense of pride. Johnstown and Marquette have been excellent stewards of that purpose, and we can’t wait to see how Belle Vernon brings their new title to life.” Belle Vernon was just one of the more than 1,300 communities across the country – accounting for nearly 73 percent of rinks nationwide – that submitted stories demonstrating their community’s passion for hockey. The runner-up, Bloomington Ice Garden, Bloomington, Minnesota will receive $75,000 to use toward arena upgrades. Since launching in Canada in 2006, Kraft Hockeyville™ has positively impacted 82 communities with over $3 million donated in arena upgrades across Canada and the U.S. Previous U.S. winners include Marquette, Michigan in 2016 and Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 2015. “Each year, Kraft Hockeyville™ USA puts a spotlight on the importance of local ice rinks to communities all across the country,” NHL Chief Brand Officer and Executive Vice President Brian Jennings said. “Community support is crucial to the growth of hockey and Kraft's commitment to this program is making a significant impact. Congratulations to Belle Vernon and to all of this year’s Kraft Hockeyville™ USA participants. The overwhelming response from cities nationwide is proof positive of the local commitment to ice rinks and the youth hockey players, coaches, parents and volunteers that call it home.” “Communities like Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania are where players learn the best parts of hockey – the camaraderie, the friendships and the pride in representing your hometown. It is the place where hockey dreams are born,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director. “The Players will be proud to visit Belle Vernon as part of Kraft Hockeyville™ USA to reward the community and play there in front of the passionate fans this September.” For contest rules and complete program details, visit https://www.krafthockeyville.com. Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2017 can also be found at Facebook.com/KraftHockeyvilleUSA and on Twitter (@HockeyvilleUSA). Fans can join the conversation using #HockeyvilleUSA. NHLPA, National Hockey League Players’ Association and the NHLPA logo are trademarks of the NHLPA. © NHLPA. NHL and the NHL Shield are registered trademarks, and HOCKEYVILLE is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks (including HOCKEYVILLE) and NHL team logos and marks are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. © NHL 2017. All Rights Reserved. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com. The National Hockey League (NHL®), founded in 1917, will celebrate its Centennial anniversary in 2017. The year-long celebration will pay tribute to 100 years of NHL hockey by honoring the past, commemorating the present, and celebrating its future. In 2017 the League will also celebrate 125 years of the most revered trophy in professional sports – the Stanley Cup®. Comprised of 31 Member Clubs, the NHL is represented by players from more than 20 countries across team rosters. Each year, the NHL entertains hundreds of millions of fans around the world. The League broadcasts games in more than 160 countries and territories through its rightsholders including NBC/NBCSN in the U.S., Sportsnet and TVA in Canada, and Viasat in the Nordic Region. The NHL reaches fans worldwide with games available online in every country including via its live and on-demand streaming service NHL.TV™. Fans are engaged across the League’s digital assets on mobile devices via the free NHL® App; across nine social media platforms; on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio™, and on NHL.com, available in eight languages and featuring an enhanced statistics platform powered by SAP, providing the definitive destination for hockey analytics. The NHL is committed to giving back to the community through programs including: Hockey is for Everyone™ which supports nonprofit youth hockey organizations across North America; Hockey Fights Cancer™ which raises money and awareness for hockey’s most important fight; NHL Green™ which is committed to the pursuit of sustainable business practices; and a partnership with the You Can Play Project, which is committed to supporting the LGBT community and fighting homophobia in sports. For more information, visit NHL.com. The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), established in 1967, is a labor organization whose members are the players in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHLPA works on behalf of the players in varied disciplines such as labor relations, product licensing, marketing, international hockey and community relations, all in furtherance of its efforts to promote its members and the game of hockey. In 1999, the NHLPA launched the Goals & Dreams fund as a way for the players to give something back to the game they love. Over the past 17 years, more than 70,000 deserving children in 34 countries have benefited from the players' donations of hockey equipment. NHLPA Goals & Dreams has donated more than $23-million to grassroots hockey programs, making it the largest program of its kind. For more information on the NHLPA, please visit www.nhlpa.com.


News Article | April 28, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Asked to explain what their parents do all day at The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC), kids said the darndest things Thursday during the company’s first-ever “Take Your Sons & Daughters To Work Day.” Guesses ranged from the high-level, “I think it’s something like analyzing,” to the more specific and day-to-day: “She types stuff on her computer and reads emails.” These delightful observations – filmed in the Kraft Heinz company store on the 76th floor of the Aon Center in Chicago – were packaged into a 90-second video and posted on Business Wire Friday morning to celebrate Take Your Sons & Daughters To Work Day. “We do a lot of impressive things here at Kraft Heinz,” said Michael Ferranti, Head of People & Performance for the U.S. Commercial Business at Kraft Heinz. “We’ve built the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world with eight $1 billion brands. We’ve invested more than $1 billion to improve our manufacturing capabilities and product innovations. But when it comes to explaining our work to our kids, most parents still have room for improvement.” Kraft Heinz hosted Take Your Sons & Daughters To Work Day at three locations on Thursday: the company’s co-headquarter offices in Chicago, along with the Kraft Heinz Innovation Centers in Glenview, Ill. and Warrendale, Penn. Kids at the Glenview and Warrendale Innovation Centers toured the pilot plants to see how their favorite foods are invented and perfected. Inside the labs where food and beverage innovations are researched and developed, kids tested their taste buds and created their own versions of the company’s signature products. At the company’s Aon Center headquarters, kids and parents participated in a meal-packaging event put on by Rise Against Hunger, an international nonprofit that distributes food and aid to vulnerable populations around the world. The packages are scheduled to arrive in Zambia where a local nonprofit partner will distribute the meals to hungry children. Last month, Kraft Heinz announced it will donate 1 billion nutritious meals to people in need by 2021 in collaboration with nonprofit partners such as Rise Against Hunger, Feeding America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Red Cross. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Board of Directors of The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) today declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.60 per share of common stock payable on June 16, 2017 to stockholders of record as of May 19, 2017. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

Consumer goods behemoth Kraft Heinz has faced a difficult 2017 so far — and its Q1 2017 earnings report serves as the latest proof. The earnings come as Kraft Heinz has failed to make a big M&A deal happen this year after Unilever recently rebuffed its $143 billion takeover bid. Net sales, which slumped in the last quarter as well, haven't picked back up. In the U.S., the foodservice, cheese, meats and nuts segments have been especially soft. The brightest spots for growth were Lunchables (which have been spared planned factory closures from budget cuts), new frozen meal brands Devour and SmartMade, and macaroni and cheese — both the brand's signature boxed variety and Cracker Barrel branded frozen versions. According to a transcript of the earnings call, Hees and other executives seem confident that sales will improve in the next quarter. U.S. Chief Operating Officer George Zoghbi touted the some of the new innovations that have recently hit store shelves or are coming soon, including adding more Philadelphia Cream Cheese branded products, like Philadelphia Cheesecake Cups and Bagel Chips and Cream Cheese Dips. Capri Sun Sport and Cracker Barrel Oven Baked Mac & Cheese have also seen strong performance, and he said the company is excited about the renovation of Oscar Mayer hotdogs to align with the simple ingredients and clean label trends. In addition to these new products, Zoghbi said the company will have more large-scale retail promotions in the rest of the year — as well as potential new meat products after ending an internal halt on their introduction. Kraft Heinz has a bit of ground to make up: Obviously, rebounding from sales declines is a priority. But so is coming back from the bruising that the company's image took when Unilever rejected its takeover offer. Time will tell what Kraft Heinz does next on the M&A front. Though the rumor mill has been spinning since February, no acquisition targets or potential deals have become concrete. Hees and other executives repeatedly said in the earnings call that they are still looking to acquire brands and companies that have strong market share, regardless of their core industries. The proposed Unilever deal showed that the company certainly does not lack for ambition and is always on the hunt for a takeover. But companies may not want to be acquired by Kraft Heinz, considering its reputation for slashing costs at companies it acquires. Ever since the eye-opening 2015 Kraft Heinz merger — orchestrated by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital Partners — the combined company has been cutting what it sees as bloated costs and grow its earnings. One of its primary tactics for growth is zero-based budgeting, where employees have to justify all expenses and cannot rely on previous spending. A slimmed-down workforce has also been a priority — Kraft Heinz recently cut jobs at headquarters in March after cutting 1,000 jobs last year — as it moves toward its post-merger goal of trimming payroll by 5,150 jobs. Hees rejected the characterization that the 3G Capital-backed company's culture of strong cost-cutting makes it an undesirable acquisition partner. "Ownership, meritocracy, high performance, brands and dreaming big" are the company's core values, he said. "And I truly believe those five things are applicable in many companies and many segments and so on. So through this culture we have, and so I don't think it will be more difficult or easier to do any other transaction."


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Together, in 2017, Dean and KRAFT Mac & Cheese will launch a Pure Love co-branded ad campaign, including in-store POS, special product labels and tags, IRCs and digital marketing and social media content support. Given the significant scale of both brands, coupled with their natural synergy, the partnership will provide a strategic growth opportunity for both. Retailers and their customers can expect to see the Pure Love of DairyPure and KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese in stores between April 17 and May 31, 2017. "With its 5-Point Purity Promise, DairyPure brand milk delivers fresh, nourishing and quality dairy products to American families, pure and simple," said Ralph Scozzafava, CEO of Dean Foods. "We are proud of that, and our partnership with KRAFT brings the DairyPure promise to millions of consumers who love Macaroni & Cheese." "Kraft Macaroni & Cheese has been a family favorite for over 80 years. We gave consumers even more reasons to love it last year  with our move to no artificial flavors, preservatives, or dyes. Dairy Pure brand milk is the ideal partner to make a tasty bowl of Kraft M&C," said Jessica Gilbertson, Head of Meals at Kraft Heinz. DairyPure brand milk can be found in the dairy aisle of grocery, convenience and big-box stores. Visit DairyPure.com/products for more information. Pick up KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner in the pasta aisle of grocery, convenience and big-box stores. For more information, visit KraftMacandCheese.com. Dean Foods is a leading food and beverage company and the largest processor and direct-to-store distributor of fresh fluid milk and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the Dean Foods portfolio includes DairyPure®, the country's first and largest fresh, white milk national brand, and TruMoo®, the leading national flavored milk brand, along with well-known regional dairy brands such as Alta Dena®, Berkeley Farms®, Country Fresh®, Dean's®, Friendly's®, Garelick Farms®, LAND O LAKES®* milk and cultured products*, Lehigh Valley Dairy Farms®, Mayfield®, McArthur®, Meadow Gold®, Oak Farms®, PET®**, T.G. Lee®, Tuscan® and more. In all, Dean Foods has more than 50 national, regional and local dairy brands as well as private labels. Dean Foods also makes and distributes ice cream, cultured products, juices, teas, and bottled water. More than 16,000 employees across the country work every day to make Dean Foods the most admired and trusted provider of wholesome, great-tasting dairy products at every occasion. For more information about Dean Foods and its brands, visit www.deanfoods.com. *The LAND O LAKES brand is owned by Land O'Lakes, Inc. and is used by license. **PET is a trademark of Eagle Family Foods Group LLC, under license. ABOUT THE KRAFT HEINZ COMPANY The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company's iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon,  Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dean-foods-and-kraft-macaroni--cheese-announce-pure-love-partnership-300439773.html


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) (“Kraft Heinz” or the “Company”) today reported first quarter 2017 financial results that primarily reflected lower consumption versus the prior-year period in North America, offset by significant gains from cost savings initiatives and benefits from the redemption of preferred stock in the prior year. “Although our top line results in the first quarter reflect a slow start to the year, we remain on track with our key initiatives,” said Kraft Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees. “We are delivering product innovations, renovations and geographic expansion that positions Kraft Heinz to drive organic sales growth for the balance of 2017 and beyond. We also have good visibility on costs, savings and what we must do to deliver another year of profitable growth for The Kraft Heinz Company.” Net sales were $6.4 billion, down 3.1 percent versus net sales for the year-ago period, including an unfavorable 0.4 percentage point impact from currency. Organic Net Sales decreased 2.7 percent versus the year-ago period. Pricing increased 1.0 percentage points as price increases in Rest of World markets, primarily Latin America, as well as the United States more than offset an unfavorable impact from promotional timing versus the prior-year period, particularly in Canada and Europe. Volume/mix decreased 3.7 percentage points as declines in North America more than offset growth in Rest of World markets and Europe. Net income attributable to common shareholders decreased to $893 million and diluted EPS of $0.73 was flat to the prior-year period. Adjusted EBITDA decreased 3.4 percent versus the year-ago period to $1.9 billion, including an unfavorable 1.0 percentage point impact from currency. Excluding the impact of currency, Adjusted EBITDA declined primarily reflecting incremental gains from cost savings initiatives(2) that were more than offset by net sales declines in the United States and Canada versus the prior-year period and business investments in Rest of World markets. Adjusted EPS increased 15.1 percent versus the year-ago period to $0.84, primarily due to benefits from the refinancing of Series A Preferred Stock. United States net sales were $4.6 billion, down 3.5 percent versus the year-ago period. Pricing increased 0.7 percentage points primarily due to price increases in cheese. Volume/mix decreased 4.2 percentage points from a combination of consumption weakness across categories, primarily driven by calendar shifts, as well as select distribution losses in the club channel. The categories most affected by these factors were foodservice, cheese, meats and nuts. These declines were partially offset by continued growth from Lunchables, and innovation-led growth in frozen meals and macaroni and cheese. United States Segment Adjusted EBITDA decreased 1.4 percent versus the year-ago period to $1.5 billion, primarily reflecting gains from cost savings initiatives and pricing that were more than offset by the decline in volume/mix as well as unfavorable key commodity(3) costs, particularly coffee and meats. Canada net sales were $443 million, down 12.2 percent versus the year-ago period, despite a favorable 2.7 percentage point impact from currency. Organic Net Sales decreased 14.9 percent versus the year-ago period primarily reflecting later implementation of go-to-market agreements with key retailers. Pricing was down 1.0 percentage points due to changes in promotional spending levels versus the prior year. Volume/mix decreased 13.9 percentage points driven by a combination of reduced in-store activity and discontinuation of certain products at retail. The categories most affected by these factors were cheese and coffee. Canada Segment Adjusted EBITDA decreased 16.6 percent versus the year-ago period to $126 million, including a favorable 2.2 percentage point impact from currency, as incremental cost savings were more than offset by the impact of net sales declines versus the prior year. Europe net sales were $543 million, down 6.8 percent versus the year-ago period, including a negative 6.6 percentage point impact from currency. Organic Net Sales were 0.2 percent lower than the year-ago period. Pricing decreased 0.6 percentage points, primarily reflecting promotional timing in the UK and Italy. Volume/mix increased 0.4 percentage points as growth of condiments and sauces in the UK was partially offset by ongoing consumption weakness in Italy and the Netherlands. Europe Segment Adjusted EBITDA decreased 5.6 percent versus the year-ago period to $170 million, including an unfavorable 10.2 percentage point impact from currency. Excluding the impact of currency, Segment Adjusted EBITDA increased 4.6 percent versus the year-ago period as manufacturing savings were partially offset by higher input costs in local currency. Rest of World net sales were $826 million, increasing 7.5 percent versus the year-ago period, despite an unfavorable currency impact of 0.6 percentage points. Organic Net Sales increased 8.1 percent versus the year-ago period. Pricing increased 5.1 percentage points, primarily driven by pricing to offset higher input costs in local currency, particularly in Latin America. Volume/mix increased 3.0 percentage points driven by favorable holiday-related shipment timing in Indonesia, ongoing growth in China, as well as continued growth in condiments and sauces in Latin America. This growth was partially offset by the impact of distributor network realignment in several markets. Rest of World Segment Adjusted EBITDA decreased 11.8 percent versus the year-ago period to $146 million, including an unfavorable 2.7 percentage point impact from currency. Excluding currency impacts, Segment Adjusted EBITDA declined as Organic Net Sales growth was more than offset by business investments to support growth and higher input costs in local currency. (1) Organic Net Sales, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS are non-GAAP financial measures. Please see discussion of non-GAAP financial measures and the reconciliations at the end of this press release for more information. (3) The Company's key commodities in the United States and Canada are dairy, meat, coffee and nuts. (4) In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Company moved the Russia business from the Rest of World segment (as defined below) to the Europe segment. This change resulted in reclassification of net sales from the Rest of World segment to the Europe segment of $30 million and Segment Adjusted EBITDA of $1 million for the first quarter ended April 3, 2016. (5) In the fourth quarter of 2016, management of our Global Procurement Office ("GPO") moved from one of our European subsidiaries to our global headquarters. This change resulted in the reclassification of Segment Adjusted EBITDA from the Europe segment to general corporate expenses of $2 million for the first quarter ended April 3, 2016. (6) Rest of World is comprised of two operating segments: Latin America; and Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (“AMEA”). A webcast of The Kraft Heinz Company's first quarter 2017 earnings conference call will be available at ir.kraftheinzcompany.com. The call begins today at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com. This press release contains a number of forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” "remain," "visibility," "execute," “expand,” "drive," "deliver," “believe,” “will,” "focus," and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company's plans, objectives, pipeline, visibility, initiatives, opportunities, capabilities, investments, execution and growth. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and beyond the Company's control. Important factors that may affect the Company's business and operations and that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, increased competition; the Company's ability to maintain, extend and expand its reputation and brand image; the Company's ability to differentiate its products from other brands; the consolidation of retail customers; the Company's ability to predict, identify and interpret changes in consumer preferences and demand; the Company's ability to drive revenue growth in its key product categories, increase its market share or add products; an impairment of the carrying value of goodwill or other indefinite-lived intangible assets; volatility in commodity, energy and other input costs; changes in the Company's management team or other key personnel; the Company's inability to realize the anticipated benefits from the Company's cost savings initiatives; changes in relationships with significant customers and suppliers; execution of the Company's international expansion strategy; changes in laws and regulations; legal claims or other regulatory enforcement actions; product recalls or product liability claims; unanticipated business disruptions; failure to successfully integrate the business and operations of the Company in the expected time frame; the Company's ability to complete or realize the benefits from potential and completed acquisitions, alliances, divestitures or joint ventures; economic and political conditions in the nations in which the Company operates; the volatility of capital markets; increased pension, labor and people-related expenses; volatility in the market value of all or a portion of the derivatives that the Company uses; exchange rate fluctuations; disruptions in information technology networks and systems; the Company's inability to protect intellectual property rights; impacts of natural events in the locations in which the Company or its customers, suppliers or regulators operate; the Company's indebtedness and ability to pay such indebtedness; tax law changes or interpretations; and other factors. For additional information on these and other factors that could affect the Company's forward-looking statements, see the Company's risk factors, as they may be amended from time to time, set forth in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Company disclaims and does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by applicable law or regulation. To supplement the financial information, the Company has presented Organic Net Sales, Adjusted EBITDA, and Adjusted EPS, which are considered non-GAAP financial measures. The non-GAAP financial measures provided should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative for, financial measures prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) that are presented in this press release. The non-GAAP financial measures presented may differ from similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures presented by other companies, and other companies may not define these non-GAAP financial measures in the same way. These measures are not substitutes for their comparable GAAP financial measures, such as net sales, net income/(loss), diluted earnings per share, or other measures prescribed by GAAP, and there are limitations to using non-GAAP financial measures. Management uses these non-GAAP financial measures to assist in comparing the Company's performance on a consistent basis for purposes of business decision making by removing the impact of certain items that management believes do not directly reflect the Company's underlying operations. Management believes that presenting the Company's non-GAAP financial measures is useful to investors because it (i) provides investors with meaningful supplemental information regarding financial performance by excluding certain items, (ii) permits investors to view performance using the same tools that management uses to budget, make operating and strategic decisions, and evaluate historical performance, and (iii) otherwise provides supplemental information that may be useful to investors in evaluating the Company's results. The Company believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures, when considered together with the corresponding GAAP financial measures and the reconciliations to those measures, provides investors with additional understanding of the factors and trends affecting the Company's business than could be obtained absent these disclosures. Organic Net Sales is defined as net sales excluding, when they occur, the impact of acquisitions, currency, divestitures and a 53rd week of shipments. The Company calculates the impact of currency on net sales by holding exchange rates constant at the previous year's exchange rate, with the exception of Venezuela following the Company's June 28, 2015 currency devaluation, for which the Company calculates the previous year's results using the current year's exchange rate. Organic Net Sales is a tool that can assist management and investors in comparing the Company's performance on a consistent basis by removing the impact of certain items that management believes do not directly reflect the Company's underlying operations. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income/(loss) from continuing operations before interest expense, other expense/(income), net, provision for/(benefit from) income taxes; in addition to these adjustments, the Company excludes, when they occur, the impacts of depreciation and amortization (excluding integration and restructuring expenses) (including amortization of postretirement benefit plans prior service credits), integration and restructuring expenses, merger costs, unrealized losses/(gains) on commodity hedges, impairment losses, losses/(gains) on the sale of a business, nonmonetary currency devaluation (e.g., remeasurement gains and losses), and equity award compensation expense (excluding integration and restructuring expenses). The Company also presents Adjusted EBITDA on a constant currency basis. The Company calculates the impact of currency on Adjusted EBITDA by holding exchange rates constant at the previous year's exchange rate, with the exception of Venezuela following the Company's June 28, 2015 devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar and remeasurement of assets and liabilities of its Venezuelan subsidiary, for which it calculates the previous year's results using the current year's exchange rate. Adjusted EBITDA is a tool that can assist management and investors in comparing the Company's performance on a consistent basis by removing the impact of certain items that management believes do not directly reflect the Company's underlying operations. Adjusted EPS is defined as diluted earnings per share excluding, when they occur, the impacts of integration and restructuring expenses, merger costs, unrealized losses/(gains) on commodity hedges, impairment losses, losses/(gains) on the sale of a business, and nonmonetary currency devaluation (e.g., remeasurement gains and losses), and including when they occur, adjustments to reflect preferred stock dividend payments on an accrual basis. The Company believes Adjusted EPS provides important comparability of underlying operating results, allowing investors and management to assess operating performance on a consistent basis. See the attached schedules for supplemental financial data, which includes the financial information, the non-GAAP financial measures and corresponding reconciliations for the relevant periods.


PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In support of its Vision “To Be the Best Food Company, Growing a Better World,” The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) today announced a new program inviting shoppers to join the fight to end global hunger by supporting their favorite brands. Through participation at retail stores and on social media, select brands will donate up to 20,000 meals each day to Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization that delivers food and aid to the world’s most vulnerable populations. The program, known as “Feed Your Family, Feed The World,” leverages signature brands from the Kraft Heinz product portfolio including Kraft, Heinz, Capri Sun, Oscar Mayer, Maxwell House, Country Time and Philadelphia, to drive meal donations. “At Kraft Heinz, we pride ourselves on providing consumers with delicious, nutritious foods, yet we know so many people around the world still go to bed hungry every night,” said Nina Barton, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Innovation and R&D at Kraft Heinz. “’Feed Your Family, Feed The World’ is an opportunity for everyone to make an impact in the fight to end global hunger by simply feeding their own families and shopping their favorite brands.” Kraft Heinz will automatically donate 15,000 meals each day of the program, with an additional donation of up to 5,000 meals dependent on social media participation. Fans nationwide can give a meal through “Feed Your Family, Feed The World” during the program timeframe (April 25-May 15, 2017) by engaging on social media in the following ways: Kraft Heinz beloved brand mascots – Kool-Aid Man, Mr. Peanut and the Ketchups – will take over Times Square in New York City on April 27 to kick off the program, canvassing for a great cause and encouraging fans to donate a meal by snapping and sharing photos, which will then be projected seven stories high on the NASDAQ building. “Hunger affects nearly 800 million people around the world, and it doesn’t have to exist,” said Rod Brooks, President and CEO of Rise Against Hunger. “By working together, we can end hunger in our lifetime. Thanks to Kraft Heinz, we can all be involved in providing life-changing nutrition by taking a few simple actions.” In addition to engaging fans on social media, Kraft Heinz will work with retail partners to drive awareness for the program at all points of sale through in-store displays, special offers and local events. For more information, mealtime inspiration, to donate a meal using the Kraft Heinz “Food Your Photo” generator and track donations on an interactive heat map in real-time, visit the “Feed Your Family, Feed The World” content hub: www.kraftrecipes.com/feedtheworld and follow Kraft Recipes on Twitter with @kraftrecipes. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com. Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), an international hunger relief organization based in Raleigh, N.C., works to implement immediate and long-term solutions to hunger worldwide. With program locations in 20 U.S. cities and five international offices, Rise Against Hunger has engaged volunteers to package more than 318 million nutrient rich meals for distribution to 74 countries around the globe. To find out more about Rise Against Hunger’s efforts to end hunger worldwide, please visit www.riseagainsthunger.org.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) (“Kraft Heinz” or the “Company”) today reported fourth quarter and full year 2016 financial results that reflected significant gains from cost savings, the redemption of preferred stock and lower taxes versus the prior year period. “We finished 2016 consistent with our expectations and with good momentum heading into 2017,” said Kraft Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees. “Looking forward, our objectives and opportunities are clear. But we need to sharpen our focus on profitable sales, and further improve our capabilities and execution to deliver another year of strong, sustainable growth in 2017.” The Company now expects its multi-year Integration Program to deliver $1.7 billion in cumulative, pre-tax savings by the end of 2017, up from $1.5 billion previously. The program is now forecast to result in $2.0 billion of pre-tax costs, up from $1.9 billion previously, and $1.3 billion of capital expenditures, up from $1.1 billion previously. Net sales were $6.9 billion, down 3.7 percent versus net sales for the year-ago period, including a negative 4.6 percentage point impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015 and an unfavorable 0.7 percentage point impact from currency. Organic Net Sales increased 1.6 percent versus the year-ago period. Pricing decreased 0.1 percentage points as price increases to offset input cost inflation in Rest of World markets, primarily in Latin America, as well as gains in the United States were more than offset by the timing of promotional activities versus the prior year in Canada. Volume/mix increased 1.7 percentage points with positive contributions from all business segments. Net income attributable to common shareholders increased to $944 million and diluted EPS increased to $0.77. Adjusted EBITDA increased 3.3 percent versus the year-ago period to $1.9 billion, despite an approximate 4.5 percentage point negative impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015 and an unfavorable 1.5 percentage point impact from currency. Excluding these factors, gains from cost savings initiatives(3) and favorable pricing in the United States were partially offset by increased business investments, mainly in the Europe and Rest of World segments. Adjusted EPS increased 46.8 percent versus the year-ago period to $0.91, despite an approximate 7.5 percentage point negative impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015. This increase reflects a combination of benefits from the refinancing of Series A Preferred Stock and lower taxes as well as growth in Adjusted EBITDA. United States net sales were $4.8 billion, down 3.1 percent versus the year-ago period, including a negative 4.8 percentage point impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015. Organic Net Sales increased 1.7 percent driven by net pricing gains of 0.3 percentage points and an increase in volume/mix of 1.4 percentage points. Volume/mix gains reflected strong growth in coffee as well as innovation across the macaroni and cheese portfolio that were partially offset by lower shipments in foodservice and cold cuts. United States Segment Adjusted EBITDA increased 13.3 percent versus the year-ago period to $1.5 billion, despite an approximate 4.5 percentage point negative impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015. Growth reflected gains from cost savings initiatives and positive net pricing that were partially offset by the timing of overhead expenses versus the prior year period. Canada net sales were $617 million, down 2.4 percent versus net sales for the year-ago period, including a negative 4.4 percentage point impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015 and a favorable 0.8 percentage point impact from currency. Organic Net Sales increased 1.2 percent versus the year-ago period. Pricing decreased 3.1 percentage points due to the timing of promotional activities versus the prior year period. Volume/mix increased 4.3 percentage points driven by growth in coffee, whitespace gains in foodservice as well as growth in cheese. Canada Segment Adjusted EBITDA decreased 9.6 percent versus the year-ago period to $151 million, including an approximate 3.5 percentage point negative impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015 and a favorable 0.6 percentage point impact from currency. Excluding these factors, Segment Adjusted EBITDA declined as volume/mix gains and incremental cost savings were more than offset by a combination of higher input costs in local currency and timing of promotional activities. Europe net sales were $600 million, down 13.3 percent versus net sales for the year-ago period, including a negative 8.1 percentage point impact from currency and a negative 3.8 percentage point impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015. Organic Net Sales were 1.5 percent lower than the year-ago period. Pricing was down 2.5 percentage points, reflecting increased promotional support in the UK as well as stepped up investments behind innovation in infant food. Volume/mix increased 1.0 percentage points as growth in Russia was partially offset by lower shipments in the UK. Europe Segment Adjusted EBITDA decreased 27.3 percent versus the year-ago period to $189 million, including an unfavorable 10.0 percentage point impact from currency and an approximate 3.0 percentage point negative impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015. Excluding these factors, Segment Adjusted EBITDA was lower as manufacturing savings were more than offset by a combination of lower Organic Net Sales and increased investments in overhead and marketing. Rest of World net sales were $801 million, down 0.7 percent versus net sales in the year-ago period, including a negative 5.1 percentage point impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015 and an unfavorable currency impact of 0.1 percentage points. Organic Net Sales increased 4.5 percent versus the year-ago period. Pricing increased 2.8 percentage points, primarily driven by pricing to offset higher input costs in local currency, particularly in Latin America. Volume/mix increased 1.7 percentage points driven by continued growth in condiments and sauces in Latin America. Rest of World Segment Adjusted EBITDA decreased 20.9 percent versus the year-ago period to $144 million, including an approximate 3.0 percentage point negative impact from a 53rd week of shipments in 2015 and an unfavorable 1.3 percentage point impact from currency. Excluding these impacts, Segment Adjusted EBITDA declined as Organic Net Sales growth was more than offset by higher input costs in local currency as well as investments in new product and whitespace initiatives. A webcast of The Kraft Heinz Company's fourth quarter and full year 2016 earnings conference call will be available at ir.kraftheinzcompany.com. The call begins today at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com. This press release contains a number of forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” "momentum," "execute," “improve,” “believe,” “will,” "focus," and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company's plans, objectives, initiatives, opportunities, capabilities, investments, execution, growth and integration. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and beyond the Company's control. Important factors that may affect the Company's business and operations and that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, increased competition; the Company's ability to maintain, extend and expand its reputation and brand image; the Company's ability to differentiate its products from other brands; the consolidation of retail customers; the Company's ability to predict, identify and interpret changes in consumer preferences and demand; the Company's ability to drive revenue growth in its key product categories, increase its market share or add products; an impairment of the carrying value of goodwill or other indefinite-lived intangible assets; volatility in commodity, energy and other input costs; changes in the Company's management team or other key personnel; the Company's inability to realize the anticipated benefits from the Company's cost savings initiatives; changes in relationships with significant customers and suppliers; execution of the Company's international expansion strategy; changes in laws and regulations; legal claims or other regulatory enforcement actions; product recalls or product liability claims; unanticipated business disruptions; failure to successfully integrate the business and operations of the Company in the expected time frame; the Company's ability to complete or realize the benefits from potential and completed acquisitions, alliances, divestitures or joint ventures; economic and political conditions in the nations in which the Company operates; the volatility of capital markets; increased pension, labor and people-related expenses; volatility in the market value of all or a portion of the derivatives that the Company uses; exchange rate fluctuations; disruptions in information technology networks and systems; the Company's inability to protect intellectual property rights; impacts of natural events in the locations in which the Company or its customers, suppliers or regulators operate; the Company's indebtedness and ability to pay such indebtedness; tax law changes or interpretations; and other factors. For additional information on these and other factors that could affect the Company's forward-looking statements, see the Company's risk factors, as they may be amended from time to time, set forth in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Company disclaims and does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by applicable law or regulation. In the Schedules to this release, the Company presents unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information (the “pro forma financial information”), which is intended to illustrate the estimated effects of the merger (the “2015 Merger”), consummated on July 2, 2015 (the “2015 Merger Date”), of Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (“Kraft”) with and into a wholly-owned subsidiary of H.J. Heinz Holding Corporation (“Heinz”), the related equity investments and common stock conversion, the application of the acquisition method of accounting, and conformance of accounting policies. The pro forma financial information is presented as if the 2015 Merger had been consummated on Dec. 30, 2013, the first business day of the Company’s 2014 fiscal year, and combines the historical results of Kraft and Heinz. For additional information on the 2015 Merger, please refer to the Company’s filings with the SEC. The pro forma financial information was prepared using the acquisition method of accounting, which requires, among other things, that assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination be recognized at their fair values as of the completion of the acquisition. The Company utilized estimated fair values at the 2015 Merger Date to allocate the total consideration exchanged to the net tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed. Such allocation was final as of July 3, 2016. The historical consolidated financial statements have been adjusted in the accompanying pro forma financial information to give effect to unaudited pro forma events that are (1) directly attributable to the 2015 Merger, (2) factually supportable and (3) expected to have a continuing impact on the results of operations of the combined company. This pro forma financial information is not necessarily indicative of what the Company’s results of operations actually would have been had the 2015 Merger been completed as of Dec. 30, 2013. In addition, the pro forma financial information is not indicative of future results or current financial conditions and does not reflect any additional anticipated synergies, operating efficiencies, cost savings or any integration costs that may result from the 2015 Merger. This pro forma financial information should be read in conjunction with historical financial statements and accompanying notes filed with the SEC. Certain reclassifications have been made to the historical Kraft and Heinz results to align accounting policies and eliminate intercompany sales in all periods presented. To supplement the financial information, the Company has presented Organic Net Sales, Adjusted EBITDA, and Adjusted EPS, which are considered non-GAAP financial measures. The non-GAAP financial measures provided should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative for, financial measures prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) that are presented in this press release. The non-GAAP financial measures presented may differ from similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures presented by other companies, and other companies may not define these non-GAAP financial measures in the same way. These measures are not substitutes for their comparable GAAP financial measures, such as net sales, net income/(loss), diluted earnings per share, or other measures prescribed by GAAP, and there are limitations to using non-GAAP financial measures. Management uses these non-GAAP financial measures to assist in comparing the Company's performance on a consistent basis for purposes of business decision making by removing the impact of certain items that management believes do not directly reflect the Company's underlying operations. Management believes that presenting the Company's non-GAAP financial measures is useful to investors because it (i) provides investors with meaningful supplemental information regarding financial performance by excluding certain items, (ii) permits investors to view performance using the same tools that management uses to budget, make operating and strategic decisions, and evaluate historical performance, and (iii) otherwise provides supplemental information that may be useful to investors in evaluating the Company's results. The Company believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures, when considered together with the corresponding GAAP financial measures and the reconciliations to those measures, provides investors with additional understanding of the factors and trends affecting the Company's business than could be obtained absent these disclosures. Organic Net Sales is defined as net sales excluding, when they occur, the impact of acquisitions, currency, divestitures and a 53rd week of shipments. The Company calculates the impact of currency on net sales by holding exchange rates constant at the previous year's exchange rate, with the exception of Venezuela following the Company's June 28, 2015 currency devaluation, for which the Company calculates the previous year's results using the current year's exchange rate. Organic Net Sales for any period prior to the 2015 Merger Date includes the operating results of Kraft on a pro forma basis, as if Kraft had been acquired as of Dec. 30, 2013. Organic Net Sales is a tool that can assist management and investors in comparing the Company's performance on a consistent basis by removing the impact of certain items that management believes do not directly reflect the Company's underlying operations. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income/(loss) from continuing operations before interest expense, other expense/(income), net, provision for/(benefit from) income taxes; in addition to these adjustments, the Company excludes, when they occur, the impacts of depreciation and amortization (excluding integration and restructuring expenses) (including amortization of postretirement benefit plans prior service credits), integration and restructuring expenses, merger costs, unrealized losses/(gains) on commodity hedges, impairment losses, losses/(gains) on the sale of a business, nonmonetary currency devaluation (e.g., remeasurement gains and losses), and equity award compensation expense (excluding integration and restructuring expenses). Adjusted EBITDA for any period prior to the 2015 Merger Date includes the operating results of Kraft on a pro forma basis, as if Kraft had been acquired as of Dec. 30, 2013. The Company also presents Adjusted EBITDA on a constant currency basis. The Company calculates the impact of currency on Adjusted EBITDA by holding exchange rates constant at the previous year's exchange rate, with the exception of Venezuela following the Company's June 28, 2015 devaluation of the Venezuelan bolivar and remeasurement of assets and liabilities of its Venezuelan subsidiary, for which it calculates the previous year's results using the current year's exchange rate. Adjusted EBITDA is a tool that can assist management and investors in comparing the Company's performance on a consistent basis by removing the impact of certain items that management believes do not directly reflect the Company's underlying operations. Adjusted EPS is defined as diluted earnings per share excluding, when they occur, the impacts of integration and restructuring expenses, merger costs, unrealized losses/(gains) on commodity hedges, impairment losses, losses/(gains) on the sale of a business, and nonmonetary currency devaluation (e.g., remeasurement gains and losses), and including when they occur, adjustments to reflect preferred stock dividend payments on an accrual basis. Adjusted EPS for any period prior to the 2015 Merger Date includes the operating results of Kraft on a pro forma basis, as if Kraft had been acquired as of Dec. 30, 2013. The Company believes Adjusted EPS provides important comparability of underlying operating results, allowing investors and management to assess operating performance on a consistent basis. See the attached schedules for supplemental financial data, which includes the financial information, the non-GAAP financial measures and corresponding reconciliations for the relevant periods.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

PITTSBURGH & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Board of Directors of The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) today declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.60 per share of common stock payable on March 17, 2017 to stockholders of record as of March 3, 2017. The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com.


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

FILE- In this March 2, 2011, file photo, Heinz ketchup bottles are displayed on the shelf of a market on in Barre, Vt. U.S. food giant Kraft Heinz Co. says its offer to buy Europe’s Unilever was rejected, but that it is still pursuing the deal. The maker of Oscar Mayer meats, Jell-O pudding and Velveeta cheese said there’s no certainty that it will make another offer for Unilever, which owns brands including Hellmann’s, Lipton and Knorr. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File) NEW YORK (AP) — Kraft Heinz's $143 billion offer to buy Unilever was spurned, but the ketchup, cheese and lunch meat maker is still hungry to expand its domain. Unilever, which make mayonnaise, tea and seasonings, said the offered price was too low. Kraft said it's still interested in a deal. If Unilever proves a resistant target, analysts said the company may look elsewhere. J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman said he always believed Kraft Heinz, itself formed from two century-old businesses in 2015, would "mostly be used as a vehicle to buy and operate" food brands. Given Unilever's stable of personal care products such as Dove soap, Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj said the offer signaled that Kraft Heinz is potentially open to acquiring other packaged consumer goods, not just food. The proposed deal would bring together Kraft Heinz brands including Oscar Mayer, Jell-O and Velveeta with Unilever's Hellmann's, Lipton and Knorr, rivaling Nestle as the world's biggest packaged food maker by sales. Shares of Kraft Heinz and Unilever surged Friday as investors saw prospects for cost cutting. Such acquisitions might not lead to big changes that customers would notice on supermarket shelves. But it's people's shifting tastes that is partly driving deal-making in the food industry. Part of the challenge is the proliferation of smaller food makers marketing products that seem more wholesome, which makes it harder for the established companies to drive up sales simply by selling more of their well-known products or by raising prices, as they have in the past. "That obviously has its limits," said David Garfield, head of the consumer products unit at consulting firm AlixPartners. Instead, major packaged food companies are being forced to dig deeper to find cost efficiencies or tap into new markets, Garfield said. That can include mergers that result in consolidated manufacturing systems, or that give companies access to distribution networks in regions of the world where they don't have a big presence. Those were some of the factors that drove Oreo and Chips Ahoy maker Mondelez International — which was split from Kraft in 2012 —to make an unsuccessful takeover bid for Hershey last year before retreating. And they were among the reasons cited by executives in the Kraft Heinz tie up, which was engineered by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, the Brazilian investment firm with a history of taking over companies and aggressively cutting costs. Bernardo Hees, a 3G partner, has slashed jobs and pursued other savings, some of them granular, as CEO of Kraft Heinz. In a 2015 memo to employees, Hees reminded them to print on both sides of the paper, reuse office supplies like binders and turn off computers before leaving the office to cut down on energy costs. The company also stopped stocking the corporate office with free Kraft snacks. Unilever follows Nestle, PepsiCo and Mondelez as the world's biggest packaged food maker by retail sales, coming in ahead of Kraft Heinz, according to Euromonitor International. In addition to its food products, it sells health and beauty products such as Axe body spray and Dove soap. In the meantime, food and drinks companies like Coca-Cola Co., General Mills Inc. and Kellogg Co. are also under pressure from Wall Street to slash costs and find products that suit the shifting customer preferences. While mega-deals are tough to pull off, they've made an array of acquisitions of smaller, faster-growing brands. Campbell Soup is trying to shed its canned-food image, and has bought juice and bagged carrots maker Bolthouse. General Mills now owns Annie's, Hormel owns Applegate meats and Justin's nut butters, and Dr Pepper recently bought Bai Brands, a maker of drinks sold as rich in antioxidants. Shares of Kraft Heinz closed up nearly 11 percent Friday. Unilever PLC jumped 14 percent.

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