Kraft Heinz created the famous ketchup more than 150 years ago. Can it still innovate to suit today’s demanding customer base?
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Kraft Heinz has been the undisrupted leader in the condiments space since ketchup was invented in 1869. The company’s purpose of “Let’s Make Life Delicious” drove 2022 net sales of approximately US$26 billion. Today, the company operates in more than 200 countries worldwide and is headquartered in Chicago, United States.
The company is also committed to growing its standing with new products and innovations across six consumer-driven product platforms. It also strives to make an impact through sustainability and ethics in its farming and production efforts.
It is on track to reach carbon neutrality by 2025. Additionally, the company is working to meet its target of having 100% of its ketchup tomatoes sustainably sourced by 2025.
What Is The Heinz Remix Dispenser?
Heinz took the spotlight at the recent 2023 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, United States (May 20-23, 2023) to showcase the world’s first condiment remix dispenser. Years in the making, the new machine called Heinz Remixdispenser lets customers customize the sauces they put on their burgers, hotdogs, and other foods — up to 200+ combinations.
Using touchscreen controls, customers can choose from a range of sauces “bases” such as Heinz Ketchup, Ranch, and BBQ sauces, and add specially developed sauce “enhancers” such as jalapeño, smoky chipotle, buffalo, and mango at different settings (low, medium, or high) – “to further personalize their sauce with just the right amount of sweetness and/or spiciness,” said Alan Kleinerman, Vice President of Disruption.
“As a company, we’re transforming through innovation by making bigger, more intentional bets to fuel our growth and create new experiences for consumers,” said Kleinerman, “Heinz Remix is a great example of this consumer-first approach to innovation. We’re changing the game for foodservice operators and sauce lovers – dipping will never be the same. With Heinz Remix, it’s more than a sauce dispenser; it’s an insights engine and business model enabler that will help Kraft Heinz understand and respond to consumer trends and flavor preferences in real-time. Who knows – maybe our next new sauce combination will come from a superfan using Heinz Remix!”
“The launch of Heinz Remix is a first for the sauce category and foodservice industry,” said Peter Hall, President, U.S. Away from Home, Kraft Heinz. “It’s a great example of how we’re leveraging culinary insights and category knowledge to drive greater value for our customers and consumers. Our ambition is to be the leader for taste, flavor and experience anywhere you’re eating, and we’re delivering on that goal with category leading innovations like Heinz Remix.”
When Will The Heinz Remix Dispenser Be Available?
The new Heinz Remix dispenser will be introduced in test markets (including stadiums, restaurants, shopping centers, and movie theaters) by the end of 2023 to early 2024. Tests will be conducted to verify useability, customer engagement, and mass market adaptability.
What Else Can The Heinz Remix Machine Do?
While this innovation will be categorized as a machine, it is much more than that. “It’s a real-time insights generator that will change the way we work with and, importantly, the way we drive value for foodservice operators”, Hall said.
The Consumers Package Goods (CPG) category has a reputation for having a different time collecting consumption data. This innovation will allow the condiment company and its customers to collect and understand consumption and behavioral data.
This fresh set of insights for various stakeholders:
– Track consumer preferences across variables (e.g., geography, events, age demographics, food choices)
– Inventory and demand management (e.g., proactively manage sauce demands based on past consumption data previously not available in detail)
– Marketing opportunities (e.g., utilize the touchscreen displays on the machine to generate interest in different sauce combinations)
The insights will drive additional innovation which could lead to better product personalization across regions, faster product design testing, and improved revenue generation in new and existing product lines.
Not The First of Its Kind
Combination dispensers were first introduced by the Coca-Cola Company in 2009. Dubbed the Coca-Cola Freestyle, the dispenser was an instant hit with consumers and operators. The ability to customize drink choices was an unexpected innovation that drew significant curiosity across all demographics around the world.
In its first introduction, customers would go to designated spots (such as movie theaters) to enjoy this new experience. As a result, many operators saw an uptick in sales. In the past five years, the Coca-Cola Company added the ability for customers to order their favorite drink using the mobile application and create up to 100+ flavor combinations. They are now available at over 50,000 locations.
Heinz hopes to recreate the same magic with its new dispenser. Besides the data collection and product design advantages discussed above, the new “machines” could bring higher hardware profit margins and enhanced maintenance contracts.
Things To Work Out
From the rendering, there is a large distance between the dispenser and the container which could open to a messier operating environment. This could be alleviated by operators providing bigger containers. There is no word yet on the dispenser’s self-cleaning features to ensure that sauces are not mixed together in between uses. New software with be required to collect and analyze the data collected from users.
Color me hungry! This is a great example of how technology can help CPGs participate directly in the customer experience. Which combinations would you want to create?
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