Insights and Studies, CPG Team Management, Field Marketing, Technology, Field Sales

Kraft Heinz's Retail Execution Excellence: Best-in-Class Strategies to Attacking Promotion Season

If you missed our webinar on “FMCG Retail Execution Excellence - Best-in-Class Strategies to Attacking Summer Promotions Season with Confidence” with POI, you’re in luck! We’ve broken down the webinar into digestible recaps with everything you need to know from the discussion with Earin Friedbauer, Director of US Retail at The Kraft Heinz Company, Hagen Panton, VP of Global Sales Capability at Nutrabolt, and Pete Paris, VP of Business Intelligence & Analytics at Spindrift Beverage Co, Inc. here for you.

In part one of three, you’ll hear from Earin Friedbauer, Director of US Retail at The Kraft Heinz Company. In her current role as Director of US Retail, she has responsibility for the flawless execution of Kraft Heinz Customer and Brand team Perfect Store initiatives. She leads a team of 60 and actively partners with external third-party brokers to win at the shelf.

Read along for a recap of the conversation with Earin on the strategies Kraft Heinz is using to convert increased foot traffic, execute promotions from day 1, and win at the shelf during the busiest time of the year. Discover key strategies you can take away during this pivotal season with planning, new tests, and perhaps most importantly, a plan of attack to achieve execution excellence. 


Earin Friedbauer, Director of US Retail at The Kraft Heinz Company

How do you get your team prepared and briefed for new launch promotions?

Earin explained that the preparation starts way in advance of whenever the launch is expected to happen, and it's a layered communication plan that begins with the Kraft Heinz marketing team, then they bring in the customer team and execution teams. And over the course of those months, they’ll drive visibility to the overall launch, make sure the team is well-versed in the consumer insights behind it (the why behind the why), and make sure that they're also well understanding of the different product benefits and the four Ps of marketing (product, price, placement, and promotion).

Then once the team gets closer to the launch date and is focusing on the execution in-store, they do  30-second pitch contests to see who can sell it the best in 30 seconds to get the execution team rallied and excited for the launch. “This is really great because it helps us level set how much of the information the team has taken in and if they can they hit the high points,” explained Earin. “Because when you're in-store, the managers don't have time. So if we can do it in 30 seconds and we can do it with excellence, we know that we're guaranteed much better success.”

Once the team is into the execution phase they will showcase all of the different materials and critical points anyway, then will load that all into Repsly so that the teams can pull that up, share it with their managers when they're in-store, and make sure they've got the right material to share out.

And then once they start getting successes, all of that reporting comes through Repsly and they can have a seamless and transparent communication back with the execution team, as well as the marketing teams, sharing not just pictures, but also where they’ve seen the greatest successes so that they can capitalize on those learnings and make sure other teams are able to drive that same level of success.

“It’s an all-encompassing approach, takes a lot of planning and preparation, but the team gets really excited about selling a new innovation, and right now our retailers are really hungry for it so that makes it even more fun,” Earin said.


How do you approach compliance strategies going into major promotions/summer weekends?

The process Kraft Heinz uses to approach compliance is called their MBI (Monthly Business Intelligence) conversation and they’re banner specific so they take place between their customer team and the retail team that supports each banner. That conversation is focused around: 1) What is the promotion being supported? 2) How is it being supported? 3) Whether it's through shopper marketing, or through promotions in-store, or sending in shippers or mods? “We don't have the DSD element so all of our stuff is coming in through the warehouse. We have to plan it further in advance. So is it coming in on a shipper or mod? Do we expect that to be on the floor or are we going to bring in some of our custom POS to be able to secure the space and put the items on display?” Earin explained.

They also talk about where they have gaps week by week and track across a four-week period of time. Earin explained where they have gaps is great because they’ve got the right audience on the phone to talk about how they resolve them She asks questions like, What are the different things either that the retail team needs or that the customer team could do to help facilitate? And then from there, once the event goes live, they utilize Repsly to look at their successes and the reporting that comes out of that helps them see where they do have gaps.

The other piece they’ve done is set aggressive goals for the team, which has been a game-changer. “I know there's been a lot of conversation about making it fun and kind of the contest element of it, that absolutely drives a different kind of energy. And so we've seen that also contribute to the success of how we plan,” Earin concluded.


Emerging trends in FMCG and their impact on their busy season plans:

Kraft Heinz is proud to announce that they are exploring a paper-based Heinz Ketchup bottle. Earin explained that when you think of the iconic Heinz Ketchup, it's always in that glass bottle, but they’re pursuing making a paper-based Heinz Ketchup bottle that would be made out of 100 percent sustainably sourced wood pulp. And right now they are the first sauce brand to test this as part of their commitment to making all packaging globally, recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025. 

If you’d like to watch the webinar in its entirety and hear the insights of Hagon Panton, VP of Global Sales Capability at Nutrabolt, and Pete Paris, VP of Business Intelligence & Analytics at Spindrift Beverage Co, Inc., check out the full webinar here: FMCG Retail Execution Excellence - Best-in-Class Strategies to Attacking Summer Promotions Season with Confidence.

FMCG Execution Excellence Webinar


Ben Weiner

Ben is Repsly's content marketing manager, focusing on digital storytelling through blogs, video and podcast production, and social media. He recently served as Bullhorn’s senior content marketing specialist and is also the founder of InVision Media, a video production company that helped small businesses promote their message. Before joining the workforce, Ben was the captain, president, and social media manager of the men's ice hockey team at the University of Maryland. In his spare time, he enjoys rollerblading with his dog Chewbacca, watching the Boston Bruins, listening to classic rock, and playing competitive games of Settlers of Catan. Follow Ben on Twitter: @bennybyline.

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