Kraft Heinz takes on Latin America with e-commerce platform3 Apr 2023
The Kraft Heinz Company is teaming up with BEES, an e-commerce platform owned by AB InBev, to leverage its distribution network in untapped regions, such as Latin America.
It was first announced that Kraft Heinz would join the BEES e-commerce platform in February, and more details on the partnership were released on 20 March.
With the help of BEES, Kraft Heinz hopes to reach more than one million potential new points of sales in Latin America (LATAM) and specifically plans to enhance its footprint in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.
“The new LATAM deal is designed to be the catalyst to help Kraft Heinz realise its emerging markets strategy by increasing points of distribution and expanding the number of items available to retailers in the region,” Kraft Heinz said.
Embracing digital tech
AB InBev first introduced BEES in 2019 as an in-house tool for accelerating the digital retail journey in new global markets. Its platform was intended to enable retailer partners to browse for AB InBev products, make orders, earn rewards, arrange deliveries, manage invoices, and access business insights.
Since its launch, most BEES users have been small, independent retailers that place orders through the BEES app, which now carries more than 500 different brands.
“The platform also offers customised ordering recommendations that help optimise customers' inventory and product selections. Users can also take advantage of flexible delivery, learn about new promotions to increase sales, and even earn rewards on their purchases,” AB InBev said in 2021.
“BEES is a means for retailers to fully embrace the advantages of digital tech in their businesses, often being their first step away from paper-based recordkeeping and manual inventory management.”
Custom growth for LATAM markets
With the new partnership, Kraft Heinz products will be listed within the BEES marketplace and available to retailers throughout Latin America. Following Mexico, Colombia and Peru, Kraft Heinz plans to roll out in Ecuador, Dominican Republic, and Panama.
© AdobeStock/Dan Dalton/KOTO
“BEES is the perfect partner because it offers the reliability and credibility of AB InBev’s distribution network, particularly in countries where we have huge potential to grow, while also allowing us to customise our approach on a market-by-market basis serving the needs of regional retailers,” said Rafa Oliveira, president of international markets at Kraft Heinz.
“To be successful in countries like Mexico, we have to use technology to increase sales force impact, and we believe BEES is poised to be a game-changer for us.”
Tracking LATAM grocery trends
Consumers in LATAM aren’t shopping as frequently as they did pre-pandemic, according to data from Kantar, making it more difficult for brands to reach their target customers.
But omnichannel shopping is on the rise, and LATAM consumers are favouring specialised stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and online platforms. BEES simplifies the process for those retailers to stock their stores; AB InBev said that BEES is now active in 20 countries with 3.1 million monthly users.
“The partnership will bring great brands like Kraft Mac & Cheese and Heinz Tomato Ketchup to the BEES marketplace, making it easier than ever for store owners to order what they need. Together we’re accelerating digital transformation and helping local businesses thrive,” said Nick Caton, chief B2B officer at AB InBev.
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