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					FeAture storY



heinz: there’s no
          other Kind
             Reflecting on a century of unparalleled success
                                                                                                                 By Clare Tattersall




                                                      c        onsidered a crossroads hamlet in the late
                                                               1900s, Leamington often served as a stopover
                                                               for tired trekkers looking for a place to rest
                                                      their wearied heads. At that time, few (if any) of the
                                                                                                                expanded the plant by approximately
                                                                                                                63,000 square feet to better serve its
                                                                                                                clientele and accommodate its
                                                                                                                growing list of product offerings. But
                                                      town’s 300 residents expected the small, lumbering        while it has been modernized, the
                                                      community situated at the southernmost point of           plant is still a shadow of the factory
                                                      mainland Canada to be known for anything other than       in Leamington, which is the second
                                                      its prime location — especially the “Tomato Capital of    largest Heinz plant (behind the
                                                      Canada.” But following the turn of the 20th century       U.K.) in the world and produces
                                                      when Henry John Heinz was looking to expand his           more types of Heinz products
                                                      fledgling food processing company north of the U.S.       than any other Heinz factory. It is
                                                      border, town council saw an opportunity to better the     also the only facility that still
                                                      livelihood of its population, which had grown to more     takes raw tomatoes, not paste.
                                                      than 2,500. So, in 1907, local politicians approached     This year alone, the factory will
                                                      Heinz to set up shop in Leamington, offering a number     purchase up to 270,000 tonnes
                                                      of incentives to lure him to the region, including a      of Ontario-grown tomatoes.
                                                      vacant six-storey building.                                  “What’s really impressive is
                                                         “Originally owned by Ward Tobacco it was, at that      about 75 per cent of
                                                      time, the tallest wooden structure in Canada,” says       everything we sell in
                                                      Joan Patterson, communications and corporate affairs      Canada is made in Canada
                                                      leader, Heinz Canada.                                     using            Canadian
                                                         Enticed by the offer and seeing the potential of       ingredients, whenever
                                                      the agricultural region, the German-American              possible,” says Patterson.
                                                      entrepreneur set up shop in Leamington in 1909,              She adds that this speaks
                                                      which marked the official founding of Heinz Canada        to     the      company’s
                                                      and the beginning of a mutually beneficial                philosophy. While Heinz
                                                      relationship that has stood the test of time. Since       is one of the most global
                                                      then, when just seven people worked in the plant          food companies its focus
                                                      and the only products manufactured were                   is on local execution.
                                                      horseradish and pickles, the factory has grown to            “Heinz tries to source
                                                      encompass 1.8 million square feet and nine buildings.     as much as it can from the
                                                      With 31 filling lines, the plant produces both retail     country in which it
                                                      and food service offerings as well as all of Heinz        operates, from suppliers
                                                      Canada’s tomato-based products, including its             to      equipment         to
                                                      famous ketchup. It also boasts a permanent staff 750      packaging,” she says.
                                                      strong, making it the town’s largest employer.               In Canada, the company
                                                         “During the peak season, which is the fall harvest,    currently has contracts
                                                      nearly 1,000 people work on-site,” notes Patterson.       with 48 local growers who
                                                         Though considered the birthplace of Heinz              supply nearly 100 per cent
                                                      Canada, Leamington is just one of two factories in        of all tomatoes used to




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                                                      the country. Five years ago, upon acquiring               make Heinz ketchup,
                                                      Richardson Foods, Heinz Canada set up shop in St.         tomato juice and other
                                                      Marys, Ont., where it manufactures all of its non-        tomato-based products.
                                                      tomato based products, condiments, salad dressings,       Additionally,        Heinz
                                                      dips, dessert toppings and Renée’s Gourmet retail         Canada (like each of the
                                                      and food service goods. In 2007, Heinz Canada             American food company’s




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                                                                                      Heinz is one of the                   Canada boasts
             When H.J. Heinz                                                          largest food service                  12 Heinz
             started the company                                                      suppliers in North                    brands that are
             his first product was                                                    America.
                                       Canada is the                                                                        number one in
             bottled horseradish.
                                       world’s second                                                                       their respective
                                       largest consumer of                                                                  categories.
                                       ketchup per capita
                                       behind Finland.



 12 FoodService News • www.foodservicenews.ca
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                                                                                                                                                     FeAture storY




business units) is free to make decisions               omnipresent on restaurant tables and in take-out              categories — ketchup and condiments, convenience
on product development and marketing                    packages — but speaks to the company’s commitment             meals and infant feeding. Satisfying tastes and appetites
 based on local consumer tastes and                     to sustainability.                                            nationwide, Heinz Canada’s longevity and rapid growth
 business conditions. Take the summer                      “It is more than just finding ways to recycle,”            is directly tied to its “look ahead” approach, allowing
  of 2008, when Heinz Canada                            stresses Pavlov. “Sustainability goes to the heart of         staffers to plan for changes in demand and fluctuations
   exclusively launched Red Thai, a bold                our corporate responsibility agenda; it’s who we are          in the marketplace. Other key drivers of success are the
   flavoured sweet and spicy sauce that                 and what we do.”                                              company’s ability to maintain its unique brand
    is currently only available to the                     Developed more than three decades ago before the           identities — Heinz’s portfolio encompasses more than
     food service industry.                             green movement really took root, the company’s                150 leading brands, including Truesoups, HP, A1, Lea &
         “It is highly on trend with the                HeinzSeed program supplies commissioned farmers               Perrins, Classico, Renée’s Gourmet and Chef Francisco
       growing demand for Asian-inspired                with hybrid seeds, which produce higher yields of             — and engage consumers on the food service side and
        cuisine,” says Phillip Pavlov, senior           tomatoes that are more disease-resistant. This allows         retail side simultaneously.
         product manager, Heinz Canada.                 growers to curtail the use of chemical pesticides and            “We’re equally strong and knowledgeable in both
            He adds the authentic Thai recipe           fertilizers and conserve water.                               channels, which is unique as not a lot of food companies
           was borrowed from Heinz                         Other sustainability initiatives include the Heinz         are,” says Pavlov. “Heinz is one brand, one voice.”
            Thailand, which serves to illustrate        Micronutrient Campaign through which free                        This marketing campaign has served Heinz well,
             another important facet of the             multivitamin and mineral powder supplements are               creating brand loyalty that not only benefits the
              company’s business model —                distributed to children in developing countries to help       company but the food service sector.
               global coordination.                     combat malnutrition and, subsequently, sustain their               “Research has shown consumers identify and
                  “Instead of reinventing               existence. Then there is the company’s plan to reduce         often have an emotional connection with brands,”
                 something, which is a                  greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2015. To           explains Pavlov. “A customer that orders fries, for
                  pretty lengthy process                achieve this goal Heinz is focusing on eight key areas,       example, will have a more positive experience if the
                   and can take up to two               including introducing alternative packaging materials         fries come with a Heinz ketchup bottle than a
                    years,     we      simply           and reducing existing packaging use.                          ramekin or generic squeeze bottle.”




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                    borrowed a great idea                  “One of the benefits of the new 575 millilitre (ml)           To further solidify its brand in the hearts and minds
                    from our colleagues on              ketchup bottle for food service is it uses 22 per cent less   of consumers and, more importantly, commemorate
                    the other side of the               packaging than the 375 ml plastic bottle and contains         this milestone year, Heinz Canada has updated its 375
                    world.”                             more product,” says Pavlov.                                   ml and 575 ml bottled ketchup packaging with special
                       A leader in providing               Continuously striving to minimize its environmental        100th anniversary labels and is circulating 70-million
                    consumers, food service             footprint while maintaining the integrity and                 limited edition single-serve ketchup packs that feature
                    operators and providers             superiority of its products, Heinz’s Leamington               Heinz fun facts. Distributed throughout the country,
                    with innovative quality             production facility recently implemented a bean soak          qualified independent food service operators and
                    food products, Heinz                system to reduce water usage and organic load, which          distributors have a chance to earn cash rebates on cases
                    Canada is getting ready             also enhances the quality of its beans for processing.        purchased by Aug. 31.
                    to roll out another new                “While consumers want companies to focus on                   “Ever since our iconic glass bottled first appeared
                    item. To be unveiled this           making products that are good for the environment             on tabletops, food service customers have been a
                    fall, organic ketchup not           they are not willing to sacrifice quality,” says Pavlov,      very important part of our business, which is why
                    only builds on Heinz’s              adding neither is Heinz. “As a result, we don’t just sit on   we chose to focus our celebration on Heinz ketchup,”
                    position as the world’s             our laurels. We’re continuously challenging ourselves         explains Pavlov.
                    leading ketchup maker               to become a better business and, at the same time,               In honour of its 100th anniversary, the company has
                    — the company’s                     address consumer needs in a better way.”                      also created the Great Canadian Heinz Ketchup Cake to
                    flagship brand enjoys                  This is especially important in today’s tough economy      be served at a company-wide, celebratory barbecue this
                    the number one or                   and plays a vital role in the company’s continuing success.   fall. Additionally, it has commissioned a Heinz Canada
                    number two share                       Now in its 100th year, Heinz Canada has come a long        history book to be written. Upon publication, each
                    position in more than               way since its early days and is a leading marketer and        member of the Heinz Canada team will receive a copy
                    50 countries and is                 producer of foods (retail and food service) in three          to remember the momentous occasion.



                     On the Web

                                                                                                                                                                  +
                      GettiNG to tHe root oF H.J. HeiNz ComPANy's roots,
                      CurreNt MArket treNdS, quiCk FACtS ANd More.

                                                                               Heinz sells 11 billion                    in 2003, Heinz                          After 110 years,
                                                                               single-serve packets                      acquired truesoups,                     Heinz Ketchup
                                                                               of ketchup per year                       a manufacturer of                       retired the pickle
                                                                               around the world.                         premium, ready-to-                      from its label in
                                                                                                                         serve soups.                            January 2009.

                                HP stands for Houses
                                of Parliament and is
                                one of britain’s most
                                popular table sauces.

                                                                                                                                                             June 2009 13

				
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