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    Making Old New Again

    Can the merger of Kraft and Heinz bring new life to center store?

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ

    Few brands are as iconic as Heinz ketchup and Kraft blue box macaroni and cheese. Now that they’re under the same roof, will these two old favorites bring some new ideas and excitement to center store?

    The multibillion-dollar deal creating the new Kraft Heinz Co. opens up new possibilities for revitalizing a lucrative yet lackluster region of general grocery that’s home to brands like Jell-O, Velveeta and Lea & Perrins.

    Deep brand equity

    Both companies have worked for years to create “deep and meaningful brand equity that will help further elevate the new Kraft Heinz enterprise into an enviable and stronger competitive position with greater critical mass,” as Allison Ames writes for PG.com. That brings the prospect of exciting new possibilities for consumers and grocery retailers, such as co-branded products and a strong partner for licensed and retail relationships.

    What might grocery shoppers see from Kraft Heinz? How about a one-stop shop in the condiment aisle, as ECRM’s Tanie Andraos suggests. Promotional and cross-merchandising opportunities abound as well.

    No product is an island – grocers need to offer more total-store solutions. The wedding of Kraft and Heinz is another huge step forward toward that goal, and toward redefining center store as an indispensible destination for shoppers.

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    • About Jim Dudlicek As editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer, Jim Dudlicek oversees daily operations of the magazine, spearheads its signature features, produces PG’s monthly Trend Alert newsletter on center store issues, moderates its regular webcast series, and writes and comments about a wide range of grocery issues. A food industry journalist since 2002, Jim came to PG in June 2010 after covering the dairy industry for 7½ years, during which time he served as chief editor of Dairy Field and Dairy Foods magazines. A graduate of Marquette University, Jim is fascinated by how truly progressive grocers inspire consumers to enjoy food, transforming the industry from mere merchants into educators that can take the most basic of all necessities and turn it into something profound and life-enhancing.

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