Inside these posts: Kraft

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Kraft MiO ads bring in Second City’s ‘Sassy Gay Friend’

Northfield-based Kraft Foods is promoting its new product MiO, which it introduced in February, by running ad spots online featuring a character from The Second City called “Sassy Gay Friend.”

The “Sassy Gay Friend,” who has been featured in various viral videos produced by The Second City, first appeared online in 2010 when The Second City put up the scenes on YouTube. The joke in the viral videos involves famous scenes from various Shakespeare plays — such as Ophelia’s suicide in Hamlet, or the scene in Romeo and Juliet where Juliet is about to kill herself. The twist occurs when the “Sassy Gay Friend” unexpectedly enters the scenes and changes the outcome.

In the new videos for MiO, a Kraft product that lets consumers flavor their water, the “Sassy Gay Friend” appears in a scene from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Get the full story »

As commodity costs rise, Kraft looks to advertising

Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to bulk up its marketing efforts and introduce several new products in an effort to offset higher ingredient costs.

The company estimates that pricier ingredients will cost it between $700 million and $800 million in North America alone. The higher costs will be particularly important to areas where Kraft competes the most, including meat, cheese, chocolate and coffee. Get the full story »

Kraft fourth-quarter profit hurt by costs; shares fall

Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings down 24 percent to $540 million. The company’s operating earnings, at 46 cents per share was in line with Wall Street expectations, but full-year earnings per share of $2.02 missed expectations by a penny.

The company’s shares fell 2.1 percent to $30.45 in after-hours trading. Get the full story »

Kraft says court will hear appeal in Starbucks case

Kraft Foods Inc. said an appeals court agreed to hear arguments over whether Starbucks Corp. can proceed with taking over distribution of its bagged coffee as planned on March 1.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday said it would hold an expedited appeal, according to Kraft, which must file its argument by Feb. 9. A final ruling on the appeal could come by the end of the month.

Kraft planned to appeal last Friday’s ruling, where the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a preliminary injunction that would block Starbucks from taking over the distribution from Kraft in just a couple of weeks. Get the full story »

Kraft names Sam Rovit head of strategy

Kraft Foods has chosen Sam Rovit to be its executive vice president of strategy. He replaces Michael Osanloo, who is now Kraft’s president of North American grocery.

Starting Jan. 29, Rovit will head Kraft’s strategy team, which works with the company’s various business units, to emphasize growth and savings targets. The team is also charged with improving performance in the company’s brands and its sales in the channels where they are sold, like supermarkets or gas stations.

As a member of Kraft’s executive team, he will report directly to chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld. Get the full story »

Wall Street wants more on Starbucks’ grocery plan

Starbucks is prepared to make acquisitions to help accelerate sales of bagged coffee and other consumer products beyond its cafes, Chief Executive Howard Schultz told investors on Wednesday.

The brass at Starbucks Corp says the consumer packaged goods business should grow faster than the company’s retail cafes, which total 17,000 globally.

But Wall Street wants specifics on how it will accomplish that goal, particularly as it works through a messy break-up with Kraft Foods Inc, which has handled sales of Starbucks packaged coffee and tea in supermarkets and club stores since 1998. Speaking at the company’s investor meeting in New York, Schultz said the Seattle-based coffee giant was prepared to buy small and large companies that would help expand its selection of consumer products. Starbucks shares rose 3.3 percent in morning trading. Get the full story »

Kraft results mixed as Starbucks ends relationship

Northfield-based Kraft reported strong earnings of 47 cents per share on Thursday afternoon. But the company’s sales, up 26.6 percent to $11.9 billion, just missed expectations of $12 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of 46 cents per share.

Earnings for the world’s second-largest food company were lower than the year-ago period, of 55 cents, because of increased advertising investment, higher taxes, and commodity cost increases.

“We had another good quarter, and we’re executing well,” Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in a statement. “The Cadbury integration has proceeded smoothly and quickly, and we’re already benefiting from significant cost synergies. I remain confident that we will achieve our goals for 2010 and accelerate our growth in 2011.” Get the full story »

Kraft earnings beat expectations; sales fall short

Kraft posted strong second-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations by a penny, with earnings per share of 53 cents. Sales surged 25 percent, following the acquisition of Cadbury, to $12.25 billion. Still, the increase fell short of consensus, which was $12.33 billion. Get the full story »

Kraft to double whole grain in its crackers by 2013

(Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune)

Kraft Foods will double the whole-grain content of its Nabisco crackers over the next three years, the company said today. That means Wheat Thins, Premium, Ritz and Honey Maid graham crackers will all be getting an overhaul.

“Nine out of 10 Americans eat less than the recommended daily amount of whole grains,” Rhonda Jordan, president-global health & wellness at Kraft said in a statement.  “And a growing number of consumers are trying to increase their consumption of whole grains.  By significantly increasing the amount of whole grain in our crackers, we’re giving them an easy, delicious way to get the whole grain they need in the foods they already enjoy.” Get the full story »

Hostess picks Kraft executive as next CEO

From The Dallas Morning News | Kraft Foods executive Brian J. Driscoll, the president of sales, customer service and logistics, has been hired by Hostess Brands Inc. to be its chief executive officer.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire cuts Kraft stake in 1Q

Buffett-Web.jpgBerkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett in Omaha on May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Associated Press | Billionaire Warren Buffett’s firm says it cut its holdings in a dozen companies in the first quarter, including slashing its stake in Kraft Foods Inc., as it finished raising cash for its $26.7 billion acquisition of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.

The sale of more than 30 million Kraft shares came after Buffett criticized the company for overpaying when it acquired British candy maker Cadbury for $19.5 billion in February.

Get the full story »

Kraft tries ‘Bring Your Own Computer’ program

By Alejandra Cancino |
It started with the smartphones. Last year, Kraft Foods Inc. offered a
stipend to employees who wanted to use their own iPhone, Android or
BlackBerry and ditch their company-issued phone.

That idea gave way to the creation of the “Bring Your Own Computer”
program, in which the company gives some employees a “substantial”
stipend to buy a computer of their choice, said Ana Paula Cruz, a Kraft
spokeswoman. In turn, employees will solve their own problems with help
from blogs and discussion boards written by the company’s information
systems department.

Cruz said the program will give flexibility to thousands of U.S. salary
employees who don’t deal with sensitive or confidential information and
use a computer to perform their job.

Get the full story »

Kraft to close headquarters in Britain

From BBC News | Northfield-based Kraft Foods, which now owns chocolate maker Cadbury, has announced plans to close its headquarters in Britain. The US company said it would move workers from its office in the town of Cheltenham to Cadbury’s current headquarters in Uxbridge, and to Cadbury offices in Bournville. Bournville, which is the historical home of Cadbury, will become a center for research and development. Kraft did not say whether the plans would include job losses.

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