GERMANY – The Kraft Heinz Company is bolstering its international market footprint by agreeing to acquire an 85% stake in German start-up Just Spices.  

The remaining 15% ownership stake will be retained by Just Spices’ three founders, who will continue on with the company and focus on driving the business and its international growth. 

Founded in 2014, Just Spices features over 170 product portfolios, including spice blends, salad dressings and “easy-to-prepare” blends for a range of meal occasions.  

Kraft Heinz bets on the company which had annual sales of approximately €60 million to further its international growth strategy. 

The Düsseldorf-based startup recently made market entries in Spain, Austria and Switzerland and may be critical in expanding Kraft’s presence in these markets. 

Kraft Heinz’s international zone president, Rafael Oliveira, said: “This is a great opportunity to further accelerate our growth agenda by strengthening our ability to anticipate trends in consumer tastes and preferences, as well as our speed to innovate”. 

Oliviera sees the company’s potential beyond the four markets it’s currently in and added that Kraft Heinz will leverage its scale and agility to accelerate Just Spices’ business in the fast-growing taste elevation market. 

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in early 2022. 

US, Canada business units reorganized  

Earlier, Kraft Heinz revealed that it is planning to combine its Canadian and US business units to create the North America Zone.  

The goal of the restructuring is to improve the agility of the unit’s innovation efforts and operations in the region, according to the company. 

Once completed in the second quarter of fiscal 2022, the North America Zone will represent approximately 80% of Kraft Heinz’s 2020 sales and will be headed by Carlos Abrams-Rivera, currently US Zone president.  

 The zone will consist of three components — taste, meals and away from home; fresh, beverages and desserts; and Canada and North America Coffee.  

Pedro Navio, currently president of Latin America, will lead the taste, meals, and away from home component while Steve Cornell, currently president of enhancers, specialty, and away from home, will lead the fresh, beverage, and desserts unit.  

Adam Butler, currently president of kids, snacks, and beverages of the company, will lead the combined Canada and North America businesses. 

Bruno Keller, currently Canada Zone president, will assume the position of president of Latin America, which will be a part of Kraft Heinz’s International Zone while Robert Scott will become the president of research and development for Kraft Heinz. 

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