What happened

It hasn't been a good year so far for Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC) shareholders. The stock shed 19% through the first six months of 2018 compared to a 2% uptick in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts.

The slump added to significant underperformance in 2017 to leave the stock well below its initial offering price from back in 2015.

So what

Kraft Heinz's challenges haven't let up lately, and the branded-foods giant is still struggling with the type of sales growth and profitability issues that management back in February said "did not reflect our progress or potential." In the fiscal first quarter, for example, organic sales fell 1.5% and earnings declined due to rising costs and reduced prices.

A girl eating French fries she just dipped in ketchup.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Management is optimistic that they'll achieve modest growth in the top and bottom lines this year with help from increased marketing and an influx of innovative food launches. That outlook appears achievable, especially as rival condiment seller McCormick is posting strong sales and profit gains. Given its struggles over the last few quarters, though, investors are taking a wait-and-see approach before bidding Kraft Heinz stock higher.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends McCormick. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.