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Oprah teams up with Kraft Heinz to create Mealtime Stories

Oprah teams up with Kraft Heinz to create Mealtime Stories

Kraft Heinz has teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to form Mealtime Stories LLC, a joint venture that will debut with ready-to-eat refrigerated products across multiple categories.

The line, which Kraft Heinz “will initially develop, manufacture, market and sell” in the US, will “make real, nutritious products more accessible to everyone,” said the firm, which said more information would be released later in the year.

As part of the joint venture, 10% of profits will be donated to charities aimed at eradicating hunger.

A spokesman declined to comment at this stage on the structure of the deal or the nature of the relationship with Winfrey, who bought a 10% stake in Weight Watchers last year.

Kraft Heinz Q3, 2016

Organic net sales at Kraft Heinz fell 1% in the third quarter of 2016, due to lower pricing (reflecting deflation in meat in the US and coffee in Canada, and higher promotional activity in Europe) and unfavorable volume/mix (reflecting lower shipments across several categories in the US, which were partially offset by volume gains from innovation in Lunchables and Mac & Cheese, gains in coffee in the US, and condiments and sauces globally).

Adjusted EBITDA increased 21.7% to $1.8bn, primarily driven by savings from the firm’s integration program and restructuring activities, said Kraft Heinz CEO Bernando Hees.

“Our integration program delivered roughly $330m of savings in Q3, or roughly $1.3bn on a run rate basis, and close to our goal. But we will not stop looking for additional savings.”

The Q4 earnings will be released on February 15.

Heinz was acquired by private equity firms 3G and Berkshire Hathaway in June 2013, and tied the knot with Kraft Foods Group in summer 2015 to creat The Kraft Heinz Company, which is co-headquartered in Chicago and Pittsburgh.

Brands in the combined portfolio include Heinz Ketchup, Classico, Ore-Ida, TGI Friday’s, Heinz Beanz, and Smart Ones; plus Kraft, Velveeta, Jell-O, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Cool Whip, Kool-Aid, Capri-Sun, MiO, Planter’s, and Lunchables.

Pictured left: New VELVEETA Cheesy Bites.  

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