Kraft Heinz teams with Google to accelerate digital transformation

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • The Kraft Heinz Company and Google announced a multiyear strategic partnership that seeks to accelerate the CPG giant’s digital transformation, per a press release. The marketer will use a variety of Google technologies in a bid to strengthen consumer relationships and engagement by delivering personalized content at scale.
  • Kraft Heinz will use Google Cloud artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to drive food innovations by deriving real-time insights from data, as well as to build a customer data platform on Google Cloud. It will also help Kraft Heinz improve media activations and efficiency on Google Ads.
  • The partnership continues Kraft Heinz’s efforts to build a proprietary ecosystem of in-house digital capabilities that will help it make better data-driven decisions as consumer behavior continues to shift to online channels.

Dive Insight:

Kraft Heinz’s new multiyear deal with Google provides a major tech boost to a strategic transformation plan first unveiled in September 2020 that sees the company reinvesting in its brands and cutting $2 billion in costs through efficiency upgrades by 2024. The CPG marketer has worked to develop in-house digital capabilities, including a new data platform called Kraft-O-Matic, and the data and analytics technologies provided by Google Cloud and Google Ads could help streamline these efforts.

“Working with Google, we’re building world-class digital capabilities and proprietary, privacy-centric data systems that will help consumers connect with our iconic Kraft Heinz brands on a whole new level through personalized offers and interactions,” Sanjiv Gajiwala, chief growth officer for Kraft Heinz in North America, said in a press release. “At the same time, we also expect to fast-track our innovation agenda by tapping into Google-powered insights around trending food conversations, shopping behaviors, and consumer demands — this is the future of food.”

Kraft plans to use Google Cloud tech to help it leverage data across its entire organization. It will use AI and ML tools to drive food innovations — including new flavors, formulations and products — while more quickly deciphering what consumers are looking for in different categories and channels. Google Cloud will also be at the core of its Kraft-O-Matic data platform, which will let the marketer use first-party data gathered from channels like call centers and in-store shopping to personalize consumer experiences in a privacy-centric way. CPG marketers efforts to gather more first-party data are likely to take on greater importance as changes by Google and Apple tighten the data privacy landscape.

By deepening its relationship with Google Ads, Kraft Heinz hopes to improve its media activations and efficiency as it continues to leverage YouTube and its creators. As part of an effort to be closer to culture as content and commerce converge, Kraft Heinz in 2021 launched a food-focused digital platform called What’s Cooking and teamed with Activision’s Call of Duty. Last year, Google Ads helped the marketer “significantly” increase view rates and reduce CPMs, compared to the same period the year prior, per the release.

“Personalization at scale is what brands need to convert and retain consumers. Google Cloud’s expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning helps brands leverage predictive analytics and data-driven insights to make better decisions in a matter of seconds, driving creative and media effectiveness,” Giusy Buonfantino, vice president of consumer packaged goods at Google Solutions, said in the press release.

Kraft Heinz’s digital transformation comes as the company looks to navigate the changing challenges of the pandemic. While it still faces supply-chain, cost and inflationary pressures, its Q4 earnings beat estimates and the company expects full-year organic sales growth in the low-single digits.

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