The Hatchet Men And the Hot Dog

Issue 08-07-17   |   Reviewer:   Duane Helleloid, Ph.D.


The U.S. grocery industry is undergoing a number of changes as consumers spend more at restaurants than traditional grocery stores. Within grocery stores, sales of traditional brands such as Jell-O, A.1 steak sauce, and Kraft Singles cheese are down, while sales of natural foods have increased. This has led 3G Capital, owner of many brands including Oscar Mayer, Heinz, and Kraft, to try and strengthen or reposition products. The company spent over $10 million to reformulate the Oscar Mayer wiener in order to make it a healthier product. It is also looking to extend brands both nationally (e.g., Heinz barbeque sauces in the U.S. market) and internationally (e.g., sell more Planter's peanuts and Heinz ketchup in China).

3G is known for its aggressive cost cutting and restructuring at the companies it acquires, while also expanding their market presence. In addition to Kraft Heinz Co., 3G owns restaurant chains, including Tim Horton's Inc., Burger King, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. To help finance its acquisitions, 3G has, on occasion, partnered with Berkshire Hathaway.

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