Kraft Heinz is a major player in the global and Canadian markets. With a diverse product portfolio that includes iconic brands such as Kraft Peanut Butter, Heinz Ketchup, and Kraft Dinner, the company caters to a broad range of consumer tastes and preferences. Operating under the global Vision “To sustainably grow by delighting more consumers globally,” Kraft Heinz emphasizes innovation, quality and sustainability in its operations and is known for its active participation in community initiatives and philanthropy, often engaging in partnerships and programs that support food security and nutrition education. This commitment to community engagement and corporate responsibility reinforces the company’s position not only as a market leader in the food and beverage industry but also as a responsible and forward-thinking corporate citizen.
Amidst this backdrop and track record, the company is doubling down on its commitment to lead the industry in its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) across its operations. MENU reached out to Kraft Heinz to learn more about the company’s DEI&B journey and their commitment to bringing Black-owned F&B brands and the industry together in an all-new RC Show pavilion: The Black Experience.
Crystal Andrews-Banks, Head of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Kraft Heinz
CAB: Since the beginning of our company’s story, we’ve been on an exciting transformational journey to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Starting in 2016 when our first Business Resource Groups (BRGs) were formed, to today, we’ve witnessed a lot of progress in DEI&B. In 2021, we announced our aspirations to have women comprise 50 per cent of global management and people of colour to comprise 30 per cent of the U.S. salaried population by 2025. To date, we have made significant strides toward our aspirations, including our refreshed vision statement and an expanded focus on equity.
CAB: Creating a culture where everyone feels comfortable bringing their full selves to work requires a community of changemakers to champion this work. Everyone has a role to play in creating and nurturing a diverse and inclusive workplace.
To make meaningful change, we’re providing opportunities for our leaders to learn how to be more inclusive and create safe spaces and experiences for teams and team members. We’ve introduced development initiatives such as interrupting bias in our Organizational People Review process to help managers identify and address unconscious bias in their assessments and ensure fair evaluations.
Our Business Resource Groups (BRGs) play an invaluable role in advancing our efforts and motivating action among our employees. These groups offer learning and development opportunities, assist in talent recruitment, create a network of support for employees and play an active role in providing counsel to leadership during challenging moments. Our Global Inclusion Council is also a key component to DEI&B. The cross-functional group of leaders is responsible for creating the strategy, providing governance,
oversight, and reporting on our DEI&B efforts and initiatives.
CAB: DEI&B is part of the fabric of who we are and how we show up as a company, and a core component of our company culture – which is our competitive advantage. The different backgrounds and perspectives of our employees help enable our innovation. This diversity of thought allows us to develop new ideas, challenge the status quo, push the boundaries on creativity, and make the best, well-informed decisions. This is giving us a real and measurable advantage as we lead the future of food.
Kevin Royal, Vice President and Head of Away From Home at Kraft Heinz Canada
Kevin Royal: It’s important that we live our values, and our value ‘We Demand Diversity’ provokes action, ownership, responsibility, and importantly, leadership. We know there are real representation gaps in the Canadian foodservice industry, from the boardrooms to the back-of-house kitchens and, as an industry leader, we believe that we must use our influence, power and scale to help centre some of these important discussions.
KR: As the industry continues to face challenges in the rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure that diversity and inclusion representation and conversations continue to be amplified. Everyone in the industry has a role to play to be an ally and help initiate and support positive change. As one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, we feel a responsibility to ensure these conversations and actions are taking place.
KR: We look forward to seeing the connections that are made at the 2024 RC Show. We hope to see people not only listening to one another, but truly engaging in conversations that help us identify and unlock new opportunities and partnerships. The future of the foodservice industry is incredibly bright, and we’re excited to be a part of the growth and transformation in the years ahead.