Kraft Heinz bets on Win­frey to lift sales

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

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.

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