True to earlier statements,Kraft Foods Inc., Northfield, Ill., is emphasizing product improvement and incremental new items over dramatic, out-of-the-blue innovations.
Recently asked about growth prospects, CEO Irene Rosenfeld toldSmartMoneymagazine, "We look at it as 'share of stomach.' Our categories are growing because we're seeing consumers shift from eating restaurant pizza to eating frozen pizzas at home. And we're expanding into adjacent categories.
"We're continuing to innovate on Oreo, for example, with new flavors, different package sizes, Oreo sticks and Oreo wafers. But we're also introducing things like Oreo Cakesters, which is a soft, cakey version. That allows us to compete in a whole other usage occasion."
Other incremental new offerings include a Planter's nut bar (targeted toward men).
To battle private label and competitive offerings, Rosenfeld used salad dressings as an example. She said Kraft returned to the drawing board to reformulate its offerings to take out preservatives, use natural ingredients, modernize the packaging and improve its advertising.
"Last year for the first time, we began to see that [salad dressings] share performance turn around," she noted.