Kraft Heinz bets on Winfrey to lift sales
Kraft Heinz Co., struggling to ignite sales growth amid punishing grocery-industry competition, is turning to media magnate Oprah Winfrey to break out of a prolonged slump.
Winfrey, pivotal to the turnaround at Weight Watchers International Inc. since she bought a stake in that company and agreed to pitch the brand, is the face of a new line of refrigerated soups and side dishes made without artificial flavors and dyes. The products have begun hitting shelves and will be available nationwide in October, Kraft Heinz said in a statement Wednesday.
The company describes the new products, which will be sold under the “O, That’s Good!” brand, as “nutritious twists” on comfort foods such as mashed potatoes and broccoli cheddar soup.
Kraft Heinz hasn’t posted sales growth since the company was created in a 2015 merger orchestrated by the private-equity firm 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Its competitors in the packaged-food industry are slumping, too — the largest food companies in the U.S. have lost almost $16 billion in sales over the past three years amid broad shifts in how consumers eat and shop.