What it does: Manufactures iconic food brands
Staff stats: 42,000 across the globe
The good bits: Lots of professional development opportunities
The not so good bits: Heavy workloads in busy periods
The Kraft Heinz story
The Kraft Heinz Company came into being following the merger of Kraft Foods Group and Heinz in 2015. A Canadian-American cheese seller called James L. Kraft founded Kraft in 1903. By the time of the merger, it was a giant American food manufacturing and processing conglomerate selling products in over 170 countries.
New Zealand’s famous brand, Wattie’s, was purchased by the H.J Heinz company in 1992. Wattie’s began in 1934 when Jim Wattie and his friend Harold Carr formed their small operation called J. Watties Canneries Ltd. The company began supplying pulped fruit from gooseberries, plums and peaches to be made into jam, which later led to the canning of peaches and pears.
As a result of these continuous mergers globally and locally, Kraft Heinz is now the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. In 2017 it had net sales of over $US26 billion. they manufacture food products on six continents and selling its famous brands – Golden Circle, Wattie’s, Heinz, HP Sauce and Weight Watchers – across 200 countries.
Kraft Heinz believes diversity enhances “creativity, innovation and growth”. It embraces a non-discriminatory philosophy and is committed to “providing qualified applicants consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability [or] protected veteran status”.
Kraft Heinz aims to be a meritocracy where “all personnel decisions, including those relating to recruitment, hiring, training, promotion, compensation and benefits, will be based solely upon an employee’s or applicant’s qualifications, skills, performance, and abilities and without regard to any condition or characteristic”.
Kraft Heinz places a high value on integrity and transparency in everything it does. It aims to market, advertise and label its products accurately and transparently and never “mislead our consumers with incorrect or incomplete information about our own products or anyone else’s”.
Kraft Heinz focuses its corporate social responsibility initiatives on three areas: global hunger and malnutrition; supply chain sustainability and the environment. It has partnered with non-profit organisations to provide one billion nutritious meals to the hungry by 2021. The palm oil it purchases is produced in an ethical and environmentally sustainable manner, and animal products are produced in a humane way. The company is seeking to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water consumption by 15 per cent by 2020. It’s also committed to respecting human rights both in its own operations and throughout its supply chain.
The recruitment process
Kraft Heinz NZ is open to receiving applications from students from the following disciplines:
The Kraft Heinz NZ grad program has two streams. The corporate stream offers appropriately qualified grads roles in areas such as category development, corporate supply chain, finance, HR, marketing and sales. The technical stream offers appropriately qualified grads roles in areas such as engineering, operations, quality, manufacturing and R&D.
The recruitment process involves submitting an online application, doing online testing, taking part in a video interview, then paying a visit to an assessment centre.
If you’re offered a grad position, you will do a week-long induction, then spend a month engaged in “cross-functional learning” at both the Auckland and Hastings sites. After that, you’ll be given a functional placement on a 10-month project that’s appropriate to your qualification and interests.
Kraft Heinz NZ doesn’t provide any public information about the salary and benefits its staff can expect. Judging by the reports of current and former employees, you should expect to earn a salary around the industry average and have access to bonuses or a profit-sharing scheme (if not immediately, then later in your career).
Kraft Heinz is serious about its claims to be a meritocracy. It seeks to “create an environment of empowerment unique to our company and provide high-potential employees with unlimited growth opportunities”. If you work hard and perform strongly you can expect to rise quickly and potentially be given opportunities to work all over the world.
The vibe of the place
In New Zealand, as around the world, Kraft Heinz aspires “To Be The Best Food Company, Growing A Better World’. The company’s five core values are: consumer first, quality, integrity, innovation and ownership/meritocracy. If you’re a go-getter with an ownership mentality, you should find Kraft Heinz’s fast-pace, sink-or-swim workplace culture to your liking.
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