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Kraft Heinz turns to tech to solve pain points

Nina Barton, head of the company’s global digital efforts, shares consumer insights at Groceryshop in Las Vegas

When it comes to meal making, the customer journey has changed little over the last 70 years. What has changed, however, is the unprecedented level of choice consumers are faced with.

A customer still searches for recipe ideas, purchases and prepares ingredients and “if it goes well hopefully basks in the satisfaction” of a job well done, said incoming Kraft Heinz Canada president Nina Barton during a keynote presentation at Groceryshop in Las Vegas last week.

Though the customer has more options and better information at every stage of her journey, there is an overwhelming craving for personalized guidance, one-stop solutions and brands that keep dietary and allergy restrictions in mind, she said.

“Three in four consumers expect brands to understand their needs and expectations even before they know what they want. We need to be mind readers,” said Barton, who also serves as the company’s president of global digital online growth.

Additionally, consumers are looking to save time. Barton said 35% of consumers value saving time over saving money and that jumps to 70% when looking at online customers.

According to consumer research, there are three areas in need of attention: inspiration and planning, nutrition and convenience.

The solution and key area of opportunity is relationship marketing including such tactics as shoppable recipes, mobile optimization, personalized recommendations and seamless social media integration, said Barton.

Signalling its commitment to emerging technology in the food industry, Kraft Heinz recently invested US$100 million to launch the venture capital fund Evolv.

“It’s an incredible time for us as an industry and the rate of change is unparalleled … This is the business and this is where our industry is going and the power of brands will help us accelerate it,” she said.

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