Customer-Led Innovation: 5 Questions With Kraft Heinz’s Greg Guidotti


Kraft Heinz

Creating a new category is the dream of CPG companies, and so Greg Guidotti is living a sort of dream these days. He’s the chief of the new brand Just Crack an Egg in addition to being head of marketing for the Oscar Mayer brand at Kraft Heinz.

The product innovation sees Kraft Heinz leveraging its existing brands—Oscar Mayer for the meat, Kraft for the cheese and Ore-Ida for the potatoes—in a new combination with an interactive element for a new daypart, breakfast.

Just Crack an Egg

The individual serving-sized cup is comprised of diced vegetables, breakfast meat, cheese and potatoes. There are four varieties of Just Crack an Egg, including one with turkey sausage and another with uncured bacon.

Just Crack an Egg was born from customer-led research and development that inspired a new brand by viewing its existing brands—and customers’ needs—with fresh eyes.

The new breakfast brand requires just stirring an egg into an individual serving-size cup that holds diced vegetables, breakfast meat, cheese and potatoes. A couple of minutes in the microwave produces an egg scramble, clearly with a minimum of fuss.

It’s tailor-made for stressed-out millennials who would eat a home-cooked breakfast… if they had time (or thought they had time) to cook one.

Gregory Guidotti - Kraft Heinz“We’re led by the consumer in everything we do,” Guidotti (right) told brandchannel. “And our strategy is to drive that brand growth through relevant brand innovations.”

Examples include Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, a brand that borrows equity from Kraft’s Cracker Barrel cheese line, Oscar Mayer hot dog lines and the Oh That’s Good joint venture with Oprah Winfrey.

“As we’ve connected with consumers we know that they’re looking for real, less-processed options that work with their busy lives,” Guidotti continued. “It can be tough to prepare eggs before going out the door in the morning. We feel we’ve bridged that divide and helping consumers reclaim their love of breakfast on a daily basis.”

The campaign includes TV, video, digital, PR, social engagements, including a 30-second TV ad and a partnership with the American Egg Board to promote sampling of Just Crack an Egg. Guidotti told us more about the consumer insights that led to the product innovation in a Q&A:

What insights from your consumer research led to the creation of this new brand and product line?

As we connected with consumers, the biggest tension was that between a real, fresher breakfast option and convenience. There were inherent trade-offs. You may have a convenient item but it  might not be good for me. Or something that’s real, but might not be as convenient. Just Crack an Egg bridges that divide. All of those things within a cup have that freshness and a breakfast option. The protein elements of meat and cheese are there and well within our wheelhouse.

Just Crack an Egg

We tested a myriad of propositions but having the consumer crack their own egg was really an unblock. It was participatory and a symbol and all contained in one cup they could microwave. What we were really hitting against is how to deliver something that seems, and is, real and fresher but simple and quick.

We’ve gotten some very strong indicators, such as a level of praise on our consumer response line, which has been like none other I’ve seen. We know we’ve got a winner on our hands, and it’s a big bet across all Kraft lines.

What is the opportunity for Ore-Ida and Kraft Heinz generally in the breakfast day part?

We really have a strong position in the breakfast day part with Oscar Mayer bacon—but it takes some time to make bacon. While we own that breakfast occasion, the consumption of bacon on the weekend is exponentially higher than during the week, whatever you do. We do see breakfast as an occasion where we can strongly participate with relevant solutions. Kraft Heinz has a strong stable of brands that delivers well across dinner and lunch but breakfast is still where we can provide a lot of solutions.

Why use Ore-Ida as the marquee brand for this product?

It has incredible equity. We’re establishing a brand in Just Crack an Egg, and what would be the right brand to be almost an endorsement of that proposition is one a consumer would believe in; Ore-Ida was the strongest one that could complement Just Crack an Egg. There’s a trust that brand has and a quality associated with it that reinforced the whole proposition. It could have been Kraft or Oscar Mayer, but Ore-Ida had the best resonance with consumers as a complement to a cracked egg.

Is it clean—a key factor for many millennials these days?

It’s very clean. No artificial preservatives or colors and the like.

Is there potential for this brand to grow and extend?

What’s exciting is that we’re launching a brand with just four SKUs. We have a robust pipeline of launches beyond this. The egg could be the catalyst to unlock a great omelette or great other thing.

Get more insights in our Q&A series.

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