Heinz to Cull European Marketers

02 June 2005

It won't be ketchup on the carpet at H J Heinz' headquarters in the UK and France. And up to two hundred marketers will be among the casualties.

Following the US multinational food giant's announcement last week of a far-reaching review of its European operations [WAMN: 27-May-05], it emerged Tuesday that the epicentres of marketing job losses will be in Paris, London, Hayes (Middlesex) and Liverpool.

Speaking to UK trade journal Marketing, Heinz confirmed it is investigating "all options" and that the above locations are the most likely to be hit by marketing job cuts.

Among the brand ranges under the microscope are Weight Watchers, Linda McCartney vegetarian products, John West Foods and Aunt Bessie's pies and puddings.

The review mirrors that carried out for Heinz' North American operations a few years ago and will follow the current fashion among multinationals to slash their brands to a basic core.

Heinz' slimming exercise will focus on all activities beyond its four key categories: ketchup, condiments and sauces; foodservice; infant nutrition; and quick-serve meals and snacks.

Says the company's all-in-one chairman/president/ceo William R Johnson: "We are going to place our focus and resources on our big brands with number one and number two market positions and in four large developing markets."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff