BOSTON — Brands that “can travel” might mean ones that could extend their geographic reach, and it also might mean brands that could journey into additional food and beverage categories, said Bernardo V. Hees, chief executive officer of Kraft Heinz Co.
“Brands that have stronger awareness and have been here for decades and have the potential of something very big in (the) international place are always brands that attract us,” he said at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference Sept. 5 in Boston.
Mr. Hees gave the example of Heinz, which was mainly a ketchup brand in 2013. Today the Heinz brand also is found in the mustard and barbecue categories, and Kraft Heinz launched Heinz brand mayonnaise earlier this year.
“So every time we see brands that have this potential, that we believe we can invest behind them, we believe they’re brands that can travel,” he said.
Mr. Hees mentioned Kraft and Planters as other brands that can travel. Pittsburgh-based Kraft Heinz brought Planters Cheez Balls and Cheez Curls back to retail stores this year.
Kraft Heinz, created through a merger in 2015, is switching from its two-year integration phase into a reinvestment phase this year, Mr. Hees said. The company will push an organic growth agenda. Kraft Heinz has added about 300 in-store operators and is investing more in convenience stores, club stores, dollar stores, gas stations, e-commerce and food service.
“Those are channels that we normally don’t have all the data, but they’re growing at a faster pace than retailers,” Mr. Hees said.