CPG case study


How KraftHeinz used Evidence for High-Frequency Demand Forecasting

The data helps forecast demand and create more robust planning

How the third-largest food and beverage company in North America developed high-frequency demand forecasting across key market segments using Huq’s insights platform.

The Need

The Kraft Heinz Company is the third- largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands. With that scale of manufacturing and supply operations at stake, the company needs an accurate and detailed understanding of demand in its key markets and how that changes over time.

This intelligence allows KraftHeinz to plan efficiently and to minimise waste – especially as some of its products are perishable. Reuben Ayley, Head of Food Service Finance (International), plays a central role in this decision- making and came to Huq looking for solutions to help the company forecast demand across specific channels internationally, on a near-realtime basis.

The Solution

A large proportion of KraftHeinz’s Foodservice products are distributed and sold through bars, hotels, cafes and restaurants. In all of these places, the level of demand is determined by the customer footfall volume across those outlets. Huq’s global mobility data comes ready-enriched with place attributes, including place types. This makes it uniquely positioned to disambiguate trends across different types of outlet – or channels – and geographic markets.

Huq’s Customer Success and Engineering teams supported KraftHeinz during an initial discovery phase, helping them to structure outputs in the way that represented greatest value to them and made them readily actionable. Together they worked to group Huq’s native outlet types to match KraftHeinz’s own internal taxonomy, and experimented with different update intervals and aggregations to produce the most effective set of results.

Once the form and structure were agreed and verified on both sides, Huq scheduled a regular feed to deliver updates to Reuben’s team via an interactive dashboard.

The Results

Having access to in-store customer trends insights at this frequency and definition was a first for the International Finance team at KraftHeinz. It helped the company to plan their manufacturing and supply operations by accurately anticipating demand across different channels in markets ranging from Japan to the US to France. This new sensitivity to changing levels of demand has become a benchmark for planning internally. It is especially important now as the global market treads a path between pandemics, rising costs and changes in disposable income.

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