Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., will spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the next two years to improve its image and to create innovative products-most of them involving Kraft cheese-as it works to reverse sluggish performance.
Kraft’s new CEO, Irene Rosenfeld presented a turnaround plan to Wall Street analysts last month at a meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“We will be telling the consumer that Kraft is back,” said Rosenfeld. “We’re going to connect with the consumer wherever she is.”
While Rosenfeld said she will steer away from dumping anemic brands, the plan does call for some cost-cutting and elimination
Rosenfeld said Kraft plans to roll out products that can be consumed as a complete meal and sold in the active perimeter of the grocery store. These would include make-your-own sandwiches and salads, all with Oscar Meyer meats, Kraft cheeses and Kraft-branded condiments. In January, Kraft said its fourth quarter profits were down 19%.
The news comes as Kraft prepares to break ties with its parent company Altria at the end of this month.
The Klondike brand has joined Unilever North America’s NASCAR sponsorship and become one of the official sponsors of Evernham Motorsports’ #9 Ultimate Chargers Dodge during the 2007 Busch Series season. Drivers Kasey Kahne, Scott Riggs and Elliott Sadler will be behind the wheel. The partnership will feature the launch of several NASCAR-licensed products, including this “NASCAR Bar” featuring Kahne on the package.