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Packaging for a global marketplace (sidebar)

Heinz adopts a global vision

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If any company doubts that packaging managed globally instead of nationally can bring significant savings, check out H.J. Heinz. The Pittsburgh-based firm recently announced it was realigning marketing, manufacturing and its entire business strategy according to product categories instead of countries. "Global category management" is the focus now, says CEO William Johnson. Consolidation of packaging formats in Europe will be among the first moves in this initiative. Ketchup bottle designs, for example, currently number 24, some glass and some plastic (see photos for examples). By cutting that number in half, Heinz expects to save $5 million annually. "We might have five different bottle sizes or shapes, each one for a different country in Europe, and each might be within 10 grams of each other in net weight," says company spokesman Jack Kennedy. "It only makes sense to consolidate those packages." With its new global approach to category management, he adds, Heinz is in a better position to take a critical look at such issues.

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