Heinz to Home launched this weekend aimed at helping key workers to buy its key grocery brands
The move has upset wholesaler customers who are struggling to receive enough stock from Heinz
Heinz has insisted its newly launched direct-to-consumer venture will not impact its ability to supply its wholesale and convenience customers.
Heinz to Home launched this weekend aimed at helping key workers, particularly in the NHS, to buy its key grocery brands, although the site is open to all consumers.
The timing of the move has upset many of its wholesaler customers who are struggling to receive enough stock from Heinz and other major suppliers.
The new online platform’s homepage states its new food bundles have been created because: “We know you can’t always get the items you are looking for at the moment - and we also understand people have less opportunity to shop.”
Shoppers can order the bundles which include eight cans of beans, four cans of soup and four spaghetti hoops for £10 plus £3.50 delivery. Heinz has confirmed over the coming days and weeks further products will be added, including Tomato Ketchup.
Delivery is free to those with a Blue Light Card including NHS workers, members of the armed forces and the police, with Heinz promising priority delivery to this group.
“The venture seems a nice initiative from the Heinz marketing team and comes at the right time for the brand to be making noise about supporting the nation,” said Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez. “However, the timing is unfortunate in the industry given the supply constraints experienced by wholesalers and independent retailers.”
Another senior wholesale source told The Grocer he was “astonished at the timing of the Heinz initiative, both in terms of a today and tomorrow perspective”.
This, he said, was because Heinz was “struggling to supply its normal routes to market today” and that in terms of tomorrow “to cut out your customers with pricing that appears cheaper than they can buy at, does not feel at all collaborative”.
Kraft Heinz director of corporate and government affairs Nigel Dickie insisted: “Heinz to Home is focused on frontline workers and has no impact at all on customers’ deliveries.
“Although the volume remains small, most of the orders come from Blue Light Card members and the response has been hugely positive from frontline workers and the general public.
“In response to the huge surge in demand for Heinz sauces, Beanz, soups and pasta and the ongoing challenges of maintaining supply across all parts of the trade, we have revisited the fair share allocation to double-check any gaps in availability and allocated more to the independent and wholesale channel.
“Our purpose is to help feed the nation at this time of need and we are working day and night to replenish retailers and wholesalers with our most popular Heinz varieties, and provide stock for care packages to be distributed to the elderly and vulnerable, as well as deliver on our charitable commitments. We are working very hard to ensure our complete range is fully available as soon as we can.”