Over the last century, Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC) has grown into a foods company behemoth with more than 200 household brands under its umbrella after decades of acquisitions.
About 40 Kraft Heinz brands are more than 100 years old, including Heinz’s ketchups and Kraft’s processed cheese products. Five Kraft Heinz products bring in between $500 million and $1 billion in sales each year: Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Ore-Ida, CapriSun and Cracker Barrel. (See also: Kraft Heinz Expands Sustainability Push.)
On August 3, 2018, the company released second quarter earnings, reporting net sales of $6.7 billion, up 0.7% compared to the same period last year.
Seven Kraft Heinz brands draw more than $1 billion in revenue annually on their own.
With the slogan “Good to the last drop,” Maxwell House was the number-one selling coffee in the U.S. until the 1980s. Since then, it has been vying with Folgers, Keurig, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and other popular coffee brands for market share.
In an effort to target younger coffee drinkers, Maxwell launched a new coffee called MAX Boost that lets users customize the amount of caffeine in their drinks. “Younger consumers … are looking to other beverage categories for functional benefits to address their different needs throughout the day,” Maxwell director of marketing, Luke Cole, said in a statement.
Maxwell was previously under the umbrella of General Foods Corp., but was acquired by Philip Morris Companies. Philip Morris also bought Kraft Inc. and merged the two businesses into Kraft General Foods. (For more, see also: 3 Best Coffee Stocks for 2017.)
Kraft Heinz’s Oscar Mayer meat and cold cut products include hot dogs, bacon and lunch meats. The brand’s staple product is the hot dog, which has been undergoing changes lately in response to consumer demand.
Oscar Mayer recently announced it would make “radical changes” by removing all added nitrates and artificial preservatives from its hot dogs. “As the most iconic brand, we’re going where other hot dogs can’t,” Oscar Mayer head of marketing, Greg Guidotti, said in a statement.
German immigrant Oscar F. Mayer and his brother Gottfried began the meat-selling business with bratwurst and liverwurst in Chicago in the early 1880s. Oscar Mayer remained an independent company until 1981, when stockholders voted to sell it to General Foods, which then merged with Kraft Foods Inc in 1989.
Under the J.L. Kraft and Bros. Company in 1916, Kraft secured a patent on a pasteurized processed cheese that used salts to extend the shelf life of cheese and cheese products. It has since had sustained success with its longer-lasting, cheese-based products like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, Kraft Mayo and Kraft Singles.
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, a package dry pasta and cheese product, was introduced in the U.S. in 1937. Kraft Singles, individually wrapped slices of processed cheese, launched in 1949.
Heinz’s brands include Heinz Tomato Ketchup, which launched in 1876 and has become the most popular ketchup brand in the U.S. Hundreds of millions of bottles sell worldwide each year. Heinz also sells Dip & Squeeze, small ketchup packages designed to be used one-handed, to U.S. fast food restaurants. (For more, see also: 6 Companies Kraft Heinz Could Swallow Up Next.)
Household name products under the Heinz brand also include Heinz Beanz, which was introduced in 1901 as “Heinz Baked Beans.”
Marketed under the Oscar Mayer brand in the U.S. and Canada, Lunchables were introduced nationally in 1989 as an on-the-go light meal.
Oscar Mayer sought to sell more processed meat and bologna as it promoted the packaged lunch dishes as a time-saver. Kraft, which merged with Oscar Mayer in 1988, provided the cheese. Now Lunchables offers 26 meal combinations like small hot dogs, nuggets and nachos.
Velveeta, a processed cheese product that has become synonymous with American cheese, was invented in 1918 under the Velveeta Cheese Company, which was sold to Kraft Foods in 1927.
Because of its creamy texture, Velveeta is a common ingredient in cheese dips, cheese soups and grilled cheeses.
Philadelphia brand cream cheese, created from milk and cream, was sold under the Phenix Cheese Company until it merged with Kraft Foods in 1928.
As cream cheese-based recipes like cheesecakes and crab rangoon remain popular with consumers, Kraft Heinz’s Philadelphia brand thrives as one of its strongest brands among both cream cheese products and Kraft Heinz’s lineup.