US-based food conglomerate, Kraft Heinz Co, is localising innovations and expanding its product offerings to penetrate China’s condiment market.
The company, which also owns Chinese brands Master and Guanghe, has invested US$100 million in a new factory last year in Yangjiang, Guangdong province, to boost capacity for Chinese sauces. The 2 brands, currently popular only in Guangdong and Fujian provinces, are slated to go national this year.
Rodrigo Wickbold, President of Kraft Heinz Asia said that in the next 2 years, the company is going to transform its portfolio offering a range of both local and western products.
Meanwhile, the company also plans to boost investments in e-commerce, especially in infant foods and cereals, and expects to scale up its sauces business. Wickbold said that Western sauces penetration in the country is still low at 40%. This year, the company is expanding production capacity for its Western tomato sauces and ketchups, with new factories planned in the medium term.
China offers a huge US$40 billion market for sauces and condiments and is one of the company’s priority markets as Chinese consumers seek high quality, healthy food products especially during the ongoing pandemic. In-home consumption of sauces, condiments and spreads grew during the period as people spent more time at home cooking.
Wickbold relocated to China from Singapore last year to set up the company’s Asia headquarters.
Kraft Heinz is building a database of recipes and plans to tap into the growing demand by encouraging people to experiment different types of cooking at home. The company has launched recipes for Western food, including videos showing an easier way of using ingredients found at regular supermarkets. It has also worked with the food services (restaurants) on new recipes.