Heinz hits out at home brands

The chief executive of HJ Heinz, one of the world’s biggest food manufacturers, has again taken aim at Coles and Woolworths for flooding the market with private label goods, which has forced it to shut one factory and downsize two others as its margins are squeezed to breaking point.

William Johnson, executive chairman, CEO and president of the $US16.4 billion Pittsburgh-based Heinz, told investors the company has had to rework its strategy in Australia to cope with the growing domination of private label goods and the never-ending discounting on branded goods by the supermarket chains.

The reality on Australia [is that it has] almost come to the point that it’s … immaterial to us going forward because it has taken such a hit, Mr Johnson said. We are confronting a combination of weak categories, relentless promotional pressure and growing private label, as well as executional issues — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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