Kraft Heinz chief growth officer on in-house agencies, plant-based innovation


Kraft Heinz uses the chief growth officer model, rather than having a chief marketing officer. In this role, you oversee marketing and innovation. How will you do this?

As you think about marketing and innovation, they’re intrinsically connected. And they go absolutely hand-in-hand. It’s all about business outcomes, and driving tangible growth for the company. Our goal is to become the most innovative food company in the world. And to do that, it requires us to take a new and holistic approach to innovation. And that’s inclusive of modern marketing. 

We’re looking at innovation across the board. And it’s beyond just product—it’s business model and experiences. And it’s also across renovation, line extensions and disruption. And then that ties hand-in-hand with creativity, and being consumer obsessed. We talk about communication at the speed of culture, and creating engaging personalized experiences, and leveraging data to drive brand relevance in our iconic brands.

There has been a creative renaissance going on at Kraft Heinz under CEO Miguel Patricio, who started in 2019. But in the current economy, with inflation rising, is it harder to focus on creativity as you compete with cheaper private label products? 

If you actually look at history, those who tend to innovate in these tougher economic environments are the ones who come out with sustainable value creation in the end. And that’s the way Kraft Heinz is looking at it. We’re still seeing quite incredible demand across our portfolio. And it’s really been driven by the proactive steps that we as an organization have taken and the investments that we’ve made in marketing and brand renovation. We’ve really, over the last number of years, begun to transform our marketing to lean heavier on creative and breaking through culture. And that doesn’t always cost money. 

We’re continuing to invest on both the creativity and innovation sides—because only then will the value for money on our iconic brands continue to flourish and help actually fuel our transformation.

Part of your new job is to oversee Kraft Heinz’s in-house agency, The Kitchen. Describe how this group operates. 

It truly focuses on social and digital content at the speed of culture. And that’s what we are really relying on that group for. So if you think about the consistent and constant [newsflow]—roaming and tying it and connecting it to our brands. 

The Oscar Mayer baloney facemask, the “Hidden Spots” (for Heinz ketchup), “Draw Ketchup,” “La Dolce Velveeta” … Those are only a few of the examples where The Kitchen has been heavily involved.

But what I’d love to say to you is that that’s only just the beginning. And we’re building that muscle every single day on creativity at the speed of culture.



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2022-09-12 03:00:00

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