PITTSBURGH – Kraft Heinz Co. has seen the future, and it has more natural, organic ingredients. The food manufacturer has been tweaking some of its core products to remove artificial colors, flavors and preservatives to appeal to consumer desire for more healthful food, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
For example, Kraft Heinz debuted an organic version of Capri Sun fruit beverages, plus took out all the artificial ingredients from Kraft Mac & Cheese dinners. The company added to its condiments Heinz-branded barbecue sauces, and launched Classico Riserva pasta sauces with no added sugar or artificial ingredients.
Those moves led to a modest 0.2% rise in U.S. sales the first quarter of this year. “Our emphasis on profitable sales growth is paying off,” CEO Bernardo Hees said. “Our market share trends are improving behind innovation and marketing investments.”
Analysts pointed out that Kraft Heinz has done well in enlarging the customer base of current products. One analyst called the company’s performance “counter-intuitive” because of the rather stale growth in many of the categories in which Kraft Heinz has products. “They’ve always said from the beginning that they plan to focus on big bet innovation to drive sales,” added Brittany Weissman with Edward Jones. “However, how this innovation has translated into results has been a pleasant surprise.”
To keep the momentum going, Kraft Heinz will shell out $50 million more in advertising this year. “At Kraft Heinz, our big bets will continue to ramp up as the year progresses, covering a full spectrum of innovation. We look forward to sharing more exciting news with our consumers in the months ahead,” said spokesman Michael Mullen.