William Johnson, chairman/president/ceo of Pittsburgh-headquartered foods giant H J Heinz Company, told Wall Street analysts Thursday that the five mega brands which drive almost 50% of the group’s global sales will benefit from a 9-10 percent increase in marketing expenditure next year.

But the entrail-rakers were not impressed by the triple-hatted Johnson’s declaration that the group “will continue to invest in these ... to provide innovative food solutions to consumers around the world.” Behind the hyping of the mega brands, lay Q2 numbers revealing that Heinz’ sales increase of 11.7% to $2.57 billion was fuelled mainly by acquisitions, including Classico pasta sauces and TGIF frozen snacks.

Following the meeting, a skeptical seer at Credit Suisse First Boston opined in a note to investors that although Heinz had stressed the need to improve execution in its programs, “after little to no progress for several years, depth of management and infrastructure remain in question.”

News source: AdAge.com