Heinz Opens Up & Re-Invigorates Brand With New Interactive Website

Apr 09, 2013 10:24 AM EDT | By Jason Pollak

The H.J. Heinz Company was sold to Warren Buffet and a Brazilian private equity company for a reported $23.3 billion this past February, according to ABC News.

As part of the new wave of Heinz energy, the company is trying to broaden their consumer scope, while engaging with food experts around the world.

As Facebook has shown with their billion monthly visitors, we are living in an Internet-driven world and Heinz is attempting to crack, or rather squeeze, into that same market with their new website HeinzFoodService.com, which opened in 2012.

The website is meant to be a place where consumers and food experts can engage on a more personal level with Heinz. They offer recipes, chef interviews, cooking advice, kitchen cleaning recommendations, information on company innovations and much more.

It's all in an effort to become a more authoritative figure in the food world. A company that not only makes ketchup and food condiments, but one that can fit into your everyday life.

The website has seen some success, with 10,000 monthly viewers last month, their highest ever. Even if those numbers aren't astronomical, Heinz is still pleased that there seems to be a value for information from Heinz itself.

Associate Research Manager Amy Kleppinger said the website is attempting to become a resource for food service experts who are difficult to reach.

"Food service professionals are difficult to talk to because they are busy," often working 16-hour days Kleppinger said. "Having the ability to connect with these folks and have a sense of what's important have been such huge aspects for Heinz."

One of the more popular articles last month was about packaging innovations and advantages of tin cans, pouches or dispensers, according to ABC. The interest is a good sign that food service people are turning to Heinz for advice on the best way to use their products.

Digital Marketing Manager Josie Cellone said these are simple innovations, but food service professionals need the extra advice due to their different needs.

"A lot of operators go to manufacture websites once a year for 'spec sheets'," Cellone said. "We wanted to disrupt that behavior and give them content so they come back week after week and month after month.

"They have to be experts around regulation, calorie counts, and nutrition requirements they have to comply with," she said. "We want to be their experts and resource."

Although the foray into a community-based website for industry professionals is relatively new, Heinz feels they are capturing a valuable market.

"The more we talked to [food service] operators and the more we understood what chefs want, the more we understood they were collaborative," Kleppinger said. "And ultimately, that was a big 'a-ha' for us. This is a group that would really benefit in having a two-way dialogue."

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