As part of this drive, the company is opening a global centre of excellence at the Zuidas, a rapidly developing business district in Amsterdam. The centre will be formally opened by Kraft Heinz Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) zone president Rafa Oliveria.
The centre will focus on ways to “work more efficiently” by creating “globally applicable best practices”, the company said. The efficiencies gained will be re-invested in innovation, marketing and training.
‘Here the future of Kraft Heinz is shaped’
Commenting on the move, Oliveria stressed the “brilliant talent” available in the area.
“There are brilliant talents here. From the best universities in the world. Experts in specialisms such as media buying, manufacturing, supply chain, revenue management, and operations.
“Here the Kraft Heinz of the future is shaped. Through smart innovations. By introducing the best practices worldwide. With this centre we want to outline the contours of the food industry 3.0.”
Oliveira noted that the move will mean Kraft Heinz is “neighbours” with the VU University and the University of Amsterdam. “Our dynamic Kraft Heinz culture is grounded in ownership and meritocracy… Brilliant talents who share our dream and find new ways to growth and success. Talented students who want to be part of the Champions League of the multinationals are at the right address.
“We have been working together with the Business School of the VU for some time to discover the pearls that will contribute to the further growth of Kraft Heinz.”
Investment built on historical foundation
The Centre of Excellence is not Kraft Heinz’s only investment in the Netherlands. The group is also opening a new Heinz Ketchup line at its Elst production facility, which is expected to come online next year.
“It is not just that the Netherlands that is the growth engine of Kraft Heinz. Our ties go back to 1958 with the acquisition of our factory in Elst to build the largest ketchup factory in Europe. Our local brands such as Honig, Venz, Karvan Cévitam, Roosvicee and De Ruijter are much beloved local brands and give us roots as far back as 1860. Moreover, our second largest innovation center in the world is located in Nijmegen,” Oliveria noted.
Last year, Kraft Heinz said it is making "significant" investments to accelerate growth in the EMEA region. In particular, the company is focusing its efforts on expanding through "white space" innovation in Europe.
“We have been laying the groundwork to capture additional whitespace opportunities. That includes the significant commercial investment to drive top line growth in our EMEA region,” noted Group CEO Bernardo Vieira Hees.