Heinz to double rate of NPD

Heinz is to double the number of new products and variants it launches over the next two years after admitting that its products have been “underleveraged” in the UK.

HeinzPic
Heinz plans a number of product innovations for its brand portfolio including Heinz Tomato Ketchup

The business will ramp up investment in its product development to identify the “spaces between categories” where it can create sub-categories, says Giles Jepson, chief marketing officer at Heinz. The company hopes to develop similiar projects to its Lol brand, a soft drink targeted at teenagers earlier this year.

Heinz has launched some 30 different products across all its brands since the start of 2011 and plans to develop this rate of product development over the next two years.

Jepson, who previously headed up Heinz’s innovation unit, says the company will identify the categories and brands that can generate sustainable growth during an “increasingly tough” period for food companies.

He adds: “There’s a legacy of innovation here at Heinz but it has to get even more important for us a business over the next two to four years. Over the last couple of years we’ve doubled our rate of innovation when it comes to new products and brand extensions and the aim is to do this again over the next two years.”

Jepson points to the company’s first foray into the ready meals market with the launch of Heinz Big Ready Meals later this month. The launch will be supported with in-store promotions as well activity around the company’s partnership with the Rugby Football League.

To support the innovation drive, Heinz is planning to invest further in its Explorer Group, an innovation hub set up 12 months ago to identify new categories outside outside its current categories. “The group’s remit is very much about identifying and developing new growth legs behind the UK business. There are two or three products coming out of that group within the next twelve months,” Jepson added.

Separately, the company is also planning major marketing campaigns around its HP Sauce and Lea & Perrins brands later this year, after admitting that it has neglected both brands in the past.

Heinz is to increase its marketing spend as the company looks to maintain sales in emerging markets and ignite growth in sluggish markets such as the Western Europe and the US. Last month, the ketchup-maker said it would spend an additional $70m (£43.8m) on marketing this fiscal year. Sales were up 2 per cent year-on-year in Europe in its first quarter, with the growth coming mostly from higher prices.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here