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Kraft Heinz Factories Are Working Overtime to Meet Spiking Demand

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Mar 20, 2020 at 1:47PM

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The food giant has some plants pulling three shifts as consumption shifts to at-home eating.

Kraft Heinz (KHC 1.31%) is ramping up production hours as consumers stock up on food supplies to last through the COVID-19 pandemic. CEO Miguel Patricio said in an interview on CNBC that the company has noticed a surge in demand that coincides with rising employee morale in factories. Many of Kraft's plants are working three shifts to meet the extra need.

"Our teams in our factories, in our distribution systems, are incredibly proud and understanding of the duty they have ahead of them," Patricio said, referencing the need to keep producing a steady flow of merchandise while consumers practice social distancing.

A cart moves through the grocery store aisle.

Image source: Getty Images.

Kraft has until recently been struggling with weak demand. Sales volumes fell 6% in the U.S. in the most recent quarter, which ran through the end of 2019. But the food giant is likely to see at least a short-term rebound in this era of social distancing as consumers look for shelf-stable products to prepare at home.

The company has drawn down on its credit line in recent days, but the move was just a precaution, executives said. "Our demand is strong," Patricio told CNBC. "Our cash flow and balance sheet [are] strong as well."

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