Kraft continues exploring 'wall-to-wall' concept

by Josh Sosland
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NORTHFIELD, ILL. — A pilot program exploring a dramatically different approach to sales at Kraft Foods Inc. is yielding "very encouraging" preliminary results, said Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer of Kraft.

Ms. Rosenfeld briefly commented on the "wall-to-wall" program during the Kraft annual meeting of shareholders April 24.

The program is just what the name implies, Ms. Rosenfeld said.

"One sales rep covers the entire store wall to wall and is responsible for bringing our portfolio to life on shelf, on end caps and on display," she said. "I’m pleased to tell you that to date the results of this initiative are very encouraging."

Ms. Rosenfeld first discussed the wall-to-wall pilot when speaking at the 2007 Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in February. There she noted that sales representatives under the wall-to-wall program will use their time more efficiently, spending less time driving between stores and more time in stores building business.

"Just as important though, our sales reps will get insights that can only come from being in the store, on the floor at the point of purchase where consumers are making their decisions," Ms. Rosenfeld said at CAGNY. She noted that the program has been in test since 2004 and the pilot expanded in late 2006.

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