Headlines this morning are dominated by H.J. Heinz (which was taken private back in June of 2013 by a consortium led by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway) acquiring fellow foods and condiments company Kraft Foods (KRFT).
In pre-market trading we see KRFT trading as high as $82 (up from its $61.33 close yesterday). Analysts seem convinced that this acquisition will result in a strong brand consolidation for consumption not only among retail consumers, but also the restaurant channel through various now possible cross-selling opportunities.
The term “Food Giant” is being tossed around in The Wall Street Journal this morning regarding the resulting company post-merger, and it is hard to disagree with this term given the strong brand lineup and utter domination of certain sub-segments of consumer foods.
When looking through our refrigerator at home and rummaging through cabinets, we are not hard pressed to find Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Kraft Velveeta Singles, Oscar Mayer Lunchables, Jell-O, and even the occasional Miracle Whip or Planters Peanuts.
All of these are KRFT products which will soon be joined by strong Heinz brands including their signature Ketchup which is also a staple in our household, their well-known “Beanz”, Ore-Ida potato/French fry products (which the kids love), as well as some sleeper brands that the average investor may not realize are under their umbrella like “Weight Watchers,” and “Smart Ones” diet oriented food products as well as Classico tomato sauce, all three of which have stuck around our freezers or cabinets at one time or another.
What we are surprised has “not been mentioned” today is the potential for anti-trust issues in the combined company given its resulting heft and command of market share, but then again the regulatory environment regarding such things is different today than where it was say fifteen years ago.