Kraft Heinz ‘embraced failure’ in digital transformation
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the bi-monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.
To drive its digital transformation and fully explore new solutions, Kraft Heinz had to create a “culture that really embraced failure,” Nina Barton, president of global online & digital growth at Kraft Heinz, said in a keynote address at October’s Groceryshop Conference.
She admitted, “For a $26 billion company it meant we had to actually reward people for taking risks. We did this through incubating people in an environment that allows them to thrive without fear of failure.”
Ms. Barton identified “seismic shifts” across the six stages of the shopper journey — discovery, inspiration, planning, shopping, cooking and eating, and sharing.
“Three out of four consumers now expect companies to understand their needs and expectations even before they know what they want.” As a result, she said, “We need to be mind-readers, anticipating and giving consumers what they want.”
Consumers also crave “one-stop solutions” that take into account what the typical family is dealing with to put meals on the table: Round-the-clock activities; schedules that don’t match up; dietary restrictions; picky eaters; and limited time to run to the grocery store.
Kraft Heinz’s digital transformation priorities focus on hyper-personalization and creating “seamless consumer experiences” that connect the whole shopping journey.
When it comes to creating CPG business growth in the era of digital transformation, Ms. Barton enumerated four key learnings so far:
- “Create a culture that celebrates failure. Perfection is so yesterday and speed really is the future for us.”
- “Data is only as good as the consumer insights it uncovers.”
- “Create a process around innovation.”
- “Don’t just build a team. Build a movement. Create a unifying battle cry that makes teams excited to show up every day to work and grow the business.”
Ms. Barton summed up: “Growth doesn’t magically happen, as much as we may want it to. Growth requires rigor, especially in a big company where there is a lot of competing demands, and where sometimes the very processes that allow large companies to succeed can actually tend to stifle growth.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What advice would have for larger CPG vendors around encouraging employees to take more risks and innovate more quickly? Do you agree that the “very processes that allow large companies to succeed can actually tend to stifle growth?”